Real Madrid will look build on their win in El Derbi when they welcome Athletic Bilbao to the capital in La Liga on Tuesday (9pm kick-off).
Zinedine Zidane masterminded a 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid at the weekend, closing the gap on their neighbours to three points and climbing up to third. The French coach must now navigate a tricky tie against Athletic Bilbao, who currently sit 12th in the table and without a win in three matches.
Where to watch Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao on TV:
- UK: LaLigaTV
- US: beIN SPORTS
Where to live stream Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao:
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Scoreline prediction: Real Madrid 3-1 Athletic Bilbao
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Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
After a tentative start to their title defence, Los Blancos have responded expertly by winning their last two games against then table-toppers Atleti (since being overtaken by Real Sociedad) and reigning Europa League champions Sevilla, while also keeping consecutive clean sheets.
The previous two league outings are a far cry from the preceding three, in which they lost to Alaves (2-1) and Valencia (4-1) and could only muster a 1-1 draw with Villarreal. Zidane will be hoping that this barren spell was a mere blip and not part of a wider problem in his dressing room.
Judging by the proceeding games it’s the former, and his next test is a date with Athletic Bilbao, who sit uncomfortably around mid-table, with just four points separating themselves in 12th from the foot of the table. Gaizka Garitano’s side are winless in three and could do with a confidence-boosting result.
- Real Madrid (vs Atletico Madrid): Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro*, Kroos; Vazquez, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.
- Athletic Bilbao (vs Valencia): Simon; Capa, Alvarez, Martinez, Berchiche; Vesga, Garcia; Williams, Muniain, Berenguer; Villalibre.
Los Blancos remain without Eden Hazard, who is nursing a muscle injury picked up in late-November. Luka Jovic continues his treatment on the sidelines after sustaining an adductor injury, while Martin Odegaard and Mariano Diaz are also unavailable. Casemiro is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season in the Madrid derby. For Athletic, they will be without Peru Nolaskoain.
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Players to watch:
- Real Madrid: Part of the reason Real have stuttered at times this season can be attributed to the absence of Dani Carvajal, who has struggled to stay injury free for most of the campaign. It will come as no surprise that across the six games he has featured this season Real kept four clean sheets in those matches and went unbeaten. The Spanish stalwart returned from his latest injury set-back to feature in the Madrid derby at the weekend, playing an influential role to keep Luis Suarez and Co quiet, while also providing the decisive strike which ricocheted off Jan Oblak and put the gloss on a 2-0 win.
- Athletic Bilbao: Despite the San Mames club famously adopting a policy of recruiting exclusively from the Basque region, they continuously unearth some top talent. Iker Muniain is the poster boy of Athletic’s ‘cantera’ policy but Inaki Williams is arguably the finest attacking player to emerge from the club’s rich production line in recent times. Such is his importance to the club that they rewarded the incisive winger with a nine-year contract in 2019, ending any and all interest from Manchester United at the time. If anyone can hurt Real in midweek then it’s Williams, who has registered more direct contributions than any of his teammates this term (two goals, two assists).
La Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Real Madrid: WWLDL
- Athletic Bilbao: DLDWL
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