Under-fire Lopetegui leads Real stars in training ahead of Plzen clash
Under-fire Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui took charge of their training session on Monday morning ahead of what promises to be a huge week for him and the club.
The Spaniard's position at Madrid is under serious threat after Levante claimed a shock 2-1 win at the Bernabeu over the weekend to make it three defeats from as many games - the club's worst run since the 2006-07 season under Juande Ramos.
Lopetegui will be hoping for a response from his players in their Champions League tie against Viktoria Plzen before they face Barcelona in the El Clasico on Sunday.
Under-fire boss Julen Lopetegui took charge of Real Madrid's training session on Monday
Gareth Bale took part in the whole session and looks set to return to Madrid's starting XI
The Madrid players are preparing for their Champions League tie against Viktoria Plzen
But as far as body language goes, the Madrid boss already looks like a defeated man.
He cut a somber and downbeat figure as he stood on the sideline to watch over Monday's session.
It comes just one day after the club's B-team coach Santaigo Solari appeared to suggest that his fate is already sealed.
Solari, who has guided Madrid's B-team 'Castilla' to second in one of Spain's regional third divisions, also hinted that he is on standby to take over.
Lucas Vazquez tries to tackle Thibaut Courtois as the Madrid players joke around
Keylor Navas (M) is seen smiling as the Madrid players mess around in the warm-up
Lopetegui is in threat of losing his job and cut a somber and isolated figure on Monday
Despite the current situation at Madrid, a couple of their players still found it within themselves to crack a smile during the warm-up games before Monday's training session.
After the warm-up, the Madrid players went through a number of fitness drills before taking part in an El Rondo and game-scenario exercises to finish the session off.
Lopetegui will however be boosted by the fact that Gareth Bale took part in the whole session and looks ready to return from his groin injury against Plzen on Tuesday.
Real will hope to get the three points in order to build up some confidence ahead of travelling to Barcelona, who will be without Lionel Messi due to a fractured arm, for the latest instalment of the El Clasico.
Sergio Ramos tries to win back the ball from Alvaro Odriozola during a training exercise
The Madrid squad also face a huge match against Barcelona after Tuesday's European clash