Real Madrid and Barcelona face two Clasicos in four days next week but La Liga’s greatest rivals are not so much revving up for the double-header but crawling reluctantly towards it.
This weekend, Barca travel to fourth-placed Sevilla on Saturday and Madrid to Levante on Sunday, when priorities, rest and rotation will all be high on the agenda again.
Santiago Solari pointed to exhaustion following his team’s latest loss at home to Girona, four days after they came from behind to beat Ajax, eight after defeating Atletico Madrid and 11 after holding Barca to a draw at the Camp Nou.
“The fatigue is not only physical, it is mental, it affects our concentration,” Solari said.
“Obviously we have come from an important period, with a lot of hard games. We have to overcome it because it might be that our energy levels dipped in the second half.”