Although Athletic has only managed to win three points so far, tomorrow’s game against the Basque Lions will not be easy at all for Real Madrid. Valverde’s men always show an extraordinary degree of commitment when they play against Real Madrid, specially if it is in San Mamés, and their recent signing of Raúl García will for sure help them to increase their intensity. Los Blancos will need to do their best to get the three points out of Bilbao.
Having beaten Granada by 1-0, Real Madrid arrives in San Mamés after four consecutive victories, as the only team in La Liga that has not conceded a goal yet. This is not only a consequence of Benítez’s attempts to build a solid defensive system, but also of the fact that Keylor Navas is proving everyone that he was the right man to sign after the last World Cup.
However, keeping this good defensive streak will be terribly difficult tomorrow, since Ramos will finally miss the game and the combined action of Aduriz and Raúl García, both of whom were rested against Villarreal last weekend and only played half an hour, will be a tremendous aerial threat for Pepe and Varane.
Therefore, Los Blancos will likely need to recover their best offensive output in order to be victorious. With the key absences of James Rodríguez and Gareth Bale, most of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored eight goals so far this season, but failed to do so in three out of the five games we have seen up to now. Karim Benzema, who is going through his best ever scoring run at the beginning of a season, must try to make his record last a little longer as well.
This is the first really tough game for Benítez’s men this season, who have a good chance to get the leadership since FC Barcelona visits Balaídos right when Celta is in a really sweet moment. No matter how many players are missing, Los Blancos need to win this to prove they are ready to fight for La Liga.