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Athletic Bilbao—Real Madrid Supercopa de España 2021 Match Preview, Injuries/Suspensions, Potential XIs, Prediction

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The first cup match of 2021 kicks off in Malaga

C.A. Osasuna v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Match Preview

Real Madrid make the trip to La Rosaleda to take on Athletic Club in the first cup match for both sides in 2021 on Thursday.

These two clubs faced each other earlier this season in a 3-1 home victory for Real Madrid back in early December. Both clubs are also trending in briefly different directions in La Liga this season.

Real Madrid currently sits second in La Liga and is on a seven match unbeaten streak in the league. Athletic has lost two of its last five league matches and is sitting tied on points for 11th in the domestic table.

Injuries/Suspensions

Dani Carvajal is a doubt for this match after picking up a training injury. Luka Jovic is also unlikely to feature in the Supercopa match. Rodrygo remains out as well.

Left back Yuri Berchiche is an injury doubt for Athletic.

There are no suspensions for either club in Thursday’s cup match.

Potential XIs

Athletic Club

Simón; Capa, Yeray, Martinez, Balenziaga; de Marcos, Vencedor, Vesga, Muniain; Williams, Raul Garcia

Real Madrid

Courtois; Vazquez, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Hazard, Benzema

Given Carvajal missed last weekend’s league match due to suspension and could miss this match as well, Lucas Vazquez would be the most likely candidate to replace him once again. There’s always a chance Zidane gives the nod to Alvaro Odriozola, though that is probably less likely.

If Vazquez starts at right back this most likely means Marco Asensio gets the start on the right wing as he did against Osasuna.

Prediction

Athletic Club—Real Madrid 1-2

If the predicted lineups stand for Real Madrid, it would be the exact same Zidane went with last weekend. Real must be able to generate more opportunities than it did against Osasuna to move through this competition.

Real has only scored three goals in its last three matches in La Liga. The scoring touch must be found against Athletic, who has a negative goal differential this season.

This will be an interesting match where Real will be looking to move in the Supercopa and get back in the win column. With no league matches this weekend, it’s even more crucial Real pull through ahead of next week’s Copa del Rey matches.