Real Madrid boss Zidane 'won't get involved' in Barcelona row

Zinedine Zidane has refused to be drawn on claims Real Madrid's timetable is unfair -- with the club having almost half as much recovery time between La Liga games next week compared to title rivals Barcelona.

The clubs are neck-and-neck at the top of the table -- level on points but with Real Madrid leading thanks to their head-to-head advantage -- with eight games left to play.

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Zidane's team will have just 62 hours to recover after playing Getafe on July 2 before facing Athletic Bilbao on July 5, while Barca will have a break of 118 hours between playing Atletico Madrid and Villarreal.

"I won't get involved," Zidane said in a news conference ahead of Madrid's game with relegation-threatened Mallorca on Wednesday. "One day it's the timetables, one day it's the referees. Everyone does their job. I'll do mine, which is difficult enough."

Over the seven sets of kick off times which have been announced so far -- matchdays 28 to 34 -- Barcelona will have had a total of 30 hours extra rest between games compared to Real Madrid.

Clubs and players had been told to expect a minimum 72 hours rest between fixtures when football returned, and Real Madrid have now complained to La Liga about their schedule.

"In the end, the calendar is what it is," Zidane said. "I have my opinion, but it won't change anything. The only thing we have to think about is resting. We're playing 11 games in not much time. We have to focus on recovery."

Madrid's title chances have been boosted by the early return from injury of Isco.

The midfielder, 28, was expected to be absent for six games with a hamstring problem diagnosed last week -- but now looks likely to miss just two.

"It's less serious than we thought and that's good news for us," Zidane said. "Isco will be with us tomorrow."

The French coach refused to confirm whether two other key players -- star winger Eden Hazard and captain Sergio Ramos -- would be involved.

Hazard impressed in both of Real Madrid's first two matches back but was an unused substitute in the 2-1 win at Real Sociedad on Sunday, while Ramos scored a penalty before being withdrawn with a minor knee problem.

"We'll see tomorrow," Zidane said. "It's a lot of games in very few days. Recovery is important. We go day-to-day here. We'll see tomorrow what we'll do."

After facing Martin Odegaard on Sunday, the game with Mallorca will see Madrid go up against another of their talented on-loan youngsters, 19-year-old winger Take Kubo.

"It's good what he's been doing," Zidane said. "He's playing regularly, which is what we all want. He's a really good player for the present and the future. I'm happy with his season. We'll decide later what we'll do with Kubo next year."