Very important match for Real Madrid. Los Blancos bounced back from their 0-0 draw against Sporting Gijón in the Liga BBVA opener but it's true that they have not faced elite opposition. Having beat Barcelona to win the Spanish Supercup in August, Athletic Bilbao are a very strong team playing in San Mamés and this match will be a quality test for Los Blancos to prove whether they are ready to fight for the title or not.
Danilo, James, Bale and Ramos will all miss the match. Those four players would have definitely started this game and Benítez will miss them, but Real Madrid have improved their bench this summer and the available players should have enough to beat Athletic if they play with the intensity needed. Pepe and Varane must be careful with Aduriz's aerial game as the striker is Bilbao's main threat. Expect a very intense game between these two teams.
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Date & Time: Wednesday, September 23 (21:00 local time, 15:00 EST).
Venue: San Mamés, Bilbao, Spain.
Projected Real Madrid XI: Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Pepe, Marcelo, Casemiro, Modric, Kroos, Isco, Ronaldo, Benzema.
Players to watch: Isco, Ronaldo, Casemiro.
TV Information: BeIN Sports (United States), Sky Sports 4 (United Kingdom), SuperSport 7 Africa (Kenya), Canal+ Partidazo (Spain), Others.
Stream information: BeIN Sports Connect (United States), Sky Go (United Kingdom), Others.