Real Madrid travel from Andalusia to Basque Country as they face off against Athletic Club at San Mames on Sunday. This is Los Blancos’ second consecutive road match after downing Granada 4-1 on Thursday.
Real are now two points removed from Atletico, who are set to take on Osasuna at the same time as this match. Real have won three of their last five matches and haven’t lost in their last 16 league matches.
Athletic have dropped points in their last two matches, losing to Huesca in their last one. They currently sit 9th in the league table and have only managed two wins in their last 10 matches played.
Real Madrid have several key figures still missing from the squad including Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Dani Carvajal, Ferland Mendy and Lucas Vazquez. Toni Kroos will also miss this match while Marcelo returns after missing against Granada.
Athletic will be without Ander Capa, Yuri Berchiche, Iker Muniain, Inigo Lekue and Peru Nolaskoain and Oier Zarraga.
There are no suspensions for either club in Sunday’s match.
Simon; de Marcos, Nunez, Martinez, Balenziaga; Berenguer, Vesga, Garcia, Morcillo; Sancet, Villalibre
Courtois; Odriozola, Militao, Nacho, Miguel; Valverde, Casemiro, Modric; Vinicius, Hazard, Benzema
Even with Marcelo, its hard to justify starting him here with how he has played as of late and how well Miguel Gutierrez has played with the few opportunities he’s been given. He should be given the start after his performance against Granada.
With Kroos out, Fede Valverde will more than likely slot in his place. It’ll be interesting to see if Eden Hazard features off the bench again or if he is given the start alongside Vinicius or even Marco Asensio.
Athletic Bilbao—Real Madrid 1-3
Real Madrid have fared well against Athletic historically as Real have beaten them more than any other Spanish side. Real has also scored the most goals against them than any other La Liga club.
Given Athletic’s relatively poor stretch of play, Real should be able to pull through with the away win and the three points. A win is required if Los Blancos hope to continue their challenge for the La Liga crown.
Its preferred that Atletico drop points against Osasuna as well, but Real still have their fate in their hands with just one league match left after this weekend. Even with the injuries, Real must carry on as they have all season and find away to pull through with a favorable result.