Sergio Ramos and Pepe remain a doubt for the Club World Cup final with Kashima Antlers after both defenders failed to train with the rest of their Real Madrid teammates on Friday (16 December). The two centre-backs already missed the semi-final 2-0 victory over Club America and Zinedine Zidane is sweating over their availability for the Sunday clash with the Japanese outfit.
The Spanish international and the veteran Portuguese defender have been two key players in Real Madrid's recent successes. Yet, the Spaniard scored a crucial goal in the Champions League 2016 win over Atletico Madrid to book a place in the current Club World Cup. Meanwhile, Ramos has enjoyed an impressive start to the new campaign, having scored five goals in 14 appearances, including one each in the last two La Liga encounters against Barcelona and Deportivo la Coruna.
Both players formed the starting back-line in the weekend clash with Deportivo and travelled to Japan with the rest of the squad ahead of the Club World Cup. However, they couldn't train with the rest of the team earlier in the week and were forced to miss the semi-final win over Club America.
Nacho and Raphael Varane coped with their absences without any problem as Real Madrid secured a comfortable 2-0 win over the Mexican giants thanks to the goals of Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.
And Zidane may need to trust in the same partnership for the final as Ramos and Pepe were still unable to complete a normal training session on Friday, only two days before the clash against Kashima Antler.
"Having overcome Club America, Real Madrid now turn their attentions to the final of the Club World Cup. Zidane's team trained at the Mitsuzawa Stadium, beginning their preparations for this Sunday's clash (11.30am CET) with Kashima Antlers. The players who started the semi-final match completed a recovery session, combining running with some work in the indoor facilities," Real Madrid confirmed. Sergio Ramos and Pepe worked separately out on the pitch. The rest of the group carried out control and passing exercises, one-twos and shooting, and a match on a reduced-size pitch."
Zidane, meanwhile, is expected to have all the rest of his starters ready for the game with the only exception of Gareth Bale, who has stayed in Madrid to continue the recovery from his recent ankle surgery.
Lucas Vazquez replaced the Welshman in the semi-final and should continue in the line-up against Kashima Antlers to partner Ronaldo and Benzema in the attack.