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Real Madrid—Athletic Bilbao Match Preview, Injuries/Suspensions, Potential XIs, Prediction

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Real Madrid return home to face off against Athletic

Real Madrid CF v Athletic Club Bilbao - La Liga Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Match Preview

Real Madrid are back at the Bernabéu this Sunday after two tough road matches last week against Valencia and Barcelona.

Real need to pick up 3 points to move back up the league table and match Barcelona on points once again, who won against Alavés on Saturday. Athletic are currently in the eighth spot, but just a win behind Getafe for fourth.

Los Blancos are unbeaten in their last eight home fixtures, whereas Athletic have only just one road win in that same time span.

This is the first time in a few matches that Real have been back home, so this will be a welcoming sight to be back in front of a friendly crowd with a chance at three points.

Injuries/Suspensions

Real Madrid will be without Hazard, Vazquez, Marcelo, and Asensio. James has returned to club training, but is not in the matchday squad.

Athletic will be without Oscar de Marcos, Muniain, Sancet, Córdoba and Aritz Aduriz.

Casemiro is suspended for the match after picking up a yellow in El Clasico. Ander Capa is also serving a suspension on Athletic’s side.

Potential XIs

Real Madrid

Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Modric, Valverde, Kroos; Rodrygo, Bale, Benzema

With Casemiro serving suspension, Valverde will most likely take his spot in midfield.

Zidane also has a few options up top. Vinicius and Isco are both options. Zidane started Isco at the 10 with Bale and Benzema up top in El Clasico. He included Brahim in Sunday’s squad, so he may be incorporated somehow as well.

Athletic Bilbao

Simón; Lekue, Yeray, Martínez, Berchiche; San José, Dani García; Williams, López, Ibai; Raúl García

Prediction

Real Madrid—Athletic Bilbao 2-0

With Real coming off of two huge matches that ended in draws, it’s time for the club to get back in the win column.

Real have been quite good at home this season at getting results and not sustaining losses. They’ve also done well the last few months in keeping clean sheets with Courtois really stepping his keeping up.

Athletic are tough, but manageable after Real held their own against Valencia and Barcelona. Being at the Bernabéu is a big boost as well given the home-away records respective for both clubs.

Three draws in a row would not be ideal; a home loss certainly wouldn’t be either. Real need this win at home to match Barcelona once again in their battle for the top spot in LaLiga.