Real Madrid travel to Bilbao and the San Mamés to take on Athletic for Real’s second road match of the season. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the club in action because of the international break, but they’re back.
Real are perfect to start the season, defeating Leganes 4-1 in their last match. Bilbao had their last match with Vallecano postponed, so they haven’t played since August 27th. They have won and lost in their only two matches of the season so far.
In all three of their matches, Real have looked pretty great. Bale and Benzema have been playing very well together and Asensio is starting to develop chemistry alongside them. Asensio only seems to get better, his latest performance for Spain against Croatia was great to watch.
Bilbao always plays Real quite tough, especially in their own home. The pressure will be on Real to remain perfect and get a win right after coming back from a week-long break.
Real Madrid remain without Jesus Vallejo, who has been missing with injury since the beginning of August.
Bilbao are missing Iñigo Lekue.
There are no suspensions for either club.
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Ceballos, Kroos; Asensio, Bale, Benzema
Thibaut Courtois got his first start for Real against Leganes last match. There’s been reports that Lopetegui is leaning towards giving him another start against Bilbao on Saturday.
Another report, coming from AS, has rumored that Casemiro may rest against Bilbao. If he doesn’t start, Ceballos will likely take over in his place. But, Casemiro should at least be on the bench as a substitute.
As for the attack, it will likely remain the trio of Asensio, Bale, and Benzema as they have worked really well together. This means that Isco will be available as a sub like last match.
Simón; de Marcos, Álvarez, Nolaskoain, Berchiche; Dani García, Susaeta, Raúl García, Muniain, Córdoba; Williams
Real Madrid-Athletic Bilbao 2-0
Though Real will be on the road, they should be the favorites for this match. There will likely be less scoring in this match than the previous three because Bilbao play Real tougher. Courtois only conceded a penalty kick goal last match, other than that he played rather well. He didn’t really have much to do with all the possession Real had.
Bilbao do not have Kepa, obviously making that record keeper transfer to Chelsea after Courtois’ Real switch. They’re putting a lot of pressure on 21-year-old Unai Simón this season.
Real should be able to capture their fourth win in a row to start the season, but that’s never a guarantee. The lineup is much more stacked than Bilbao’s and it should reflect on Saturday’s scoresheet, though this is the best team they’ve faced so far.
HOW TO WATCH, STREAM LA LIGA
Time: 20:45 CEST, 02:45pm EST, 11:45pm Pacific.
Venue: San Mames, Bilbao, Spain