Real Madrid take on Athletic Bilbao tomorrow at 6:00 pm CET (12:00 pm ET) away from home. The game can be watched on DAZN’s UWCL YouTube channel (they also have a dedicated Spanish version where they show the majority of Liga F’s games). Athletic finished 7th in the league last season and are still a dangerous side despite losing star striker Lucía García. They ripped an admittedly poor Sporting Huelva to shreds with lethal long balls from Oihane Valdezate to right winger Ane Azkona, before disappointing in a 1-0 loss to Levante (who are probably the 5th best side in the league — their contest vs. Atlético Madrid will go some way to determining if they can be 4th over Real Sociedad).
Athletic possess some of the neatest build-up mechanics in the league — virtue of Iraia Iturregi’s excellent coaching — while being unafraid to go direct and live on the counter. Madrid still have a pretty sizable talent advantage, but this will be a serious test of how good they are early in this 22/23 season.
GK: Misa, Gérard
DEF: Kenti, Rocío, Ivana, Olga, Kathellen, Claudia F., Lucía, Svava
MID: Teresa, Maite, Weir, Zornoza, Freja Siri
FWD: Nahikari, Esther, Lorena, Møller, Feller, Athenea
Absences: Toletti (injury), Corredera (maternity leave)
The main absence to worry about is that of Sandie Toletti. She is pretty much an undisputed starter and, thus, losing her to a knock vs. Rosenborg mid-game was a big blow. Nevertheless, one of Tere and Maite should fill in ably, although it is possible that Freja Siri gets her league debut for defensive reasons instead.