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Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid, La Liga: Projected lineups

Casemiro ready to start?

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

This should not be an easy match for Real Madrid. Athletic are always very tough to beat at San Mamés -- Los Blancos lost 1-0 last season and drew 1-1 two years ago -- and Madrid's performance against Granada was very disappointing. Benítez might have some changes ready to fight against Bilbao's physical presence.

Real Madrid Projected XI: Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Pepe, Marcelo, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Isco, Ronaldo, Benzema.

Athletic Bilbao Projected XI: Iraizoz, De Marcos, Etxeita, Laporte, Lekue, José, Beñat, Susaeta, García, Gómez, Aduriz.

This seems like the perfect match for Benítez to test a 4-3-3 formation with Casemiro, Modric and Kroos playing in the midfield. Gareth Bale and James Rodríguez are not available but it would be surprising to see Vázquez, Cheryshev or Jesé starting this match, so unless Benítez decides to give Kovacic the chance to play behind the striker, Casemiro's size and strength would be very useful in San Mamés.

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