Real Madrid vs Athletic Club – La Liga – Preview

Posted on by Sreya

Real Madrid will host Athletic Club Bilbao at Santiago Bernabeu on 13th February, Saturday in their twenty-fourth La Liga fixture of the 2015/16 season. Real Madrid have collected fifty points and sit in the third position on the league standings, while the visitors are on sixth position, albeit with just thirty five points.

It is a crucial match for Zinedine Zidane’s side as Real Madrid have an opportunity to climb to the second position, as Atletico Madrid are not playing until Sunday. Real Madrid defeated Granada by 2-1 last weekend, while Athletic Club played a goalless draw against Villareal.

Team News

Marcelo, who dislocated his shoulder joins Pepe and Gareth Bale on the sidelines. Athletic Club will be missing Raul Garcia and Ibai Gomez through injuries. San Jose and Inaki Williams are suspended, but Oscar de Marcos returns from suspension. Etxeita and Markel Susaeta have been listed as doubts, but both will face late fitness tests.

Real Madrid Possible Starting Lineup: Keylor Navas, Daniel Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Nacho, Isco, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, James Rodriguez, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Athletic Club Bilbao Possible Starting Lineup: Gorka Iraizoz, Eneko Boveda, Etxeita, Aymeric Laporte, Balenziaga, Benat, Iturraspe, Oscar de Marcos, Javier Eraso, Iker Muniain, Aduriz.

Thoughts From Both Camps

“Athletic are a strong team but we must continue with the same dynamic of winning. We know who we are playing against. The most important thing is to give the maximum. Every player has their feelings and when there is something negative out on the field there can be difficult moments.”

– Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid.

“The statistics speak of history, but that does not tell you what will happen. We are not favorites in Saturday’s game, but that means nothing. We have the experience of last year when we were losing 1-0 in the first minute and that cost us a lot.”

– Ernesto Valverde, Athletic Club Bilbao.

Contributor’s Pick

According to Head-2-Head statistics, the previous six encounters between Real Madrid and Athletic Club Bilbao have resulted in four wins and only one loss for Los Blancos. In fact, Real Madrid have won twenty of their last twenty three matches against Athletic Club in all competitions.

With six wins in their last six La Liga games in which they scored a minimum of three goals, Real Madrid are the form side of the Spanish top division and will start the match as favorites. Although it should be a closely contested affair, Real Madrid are expected to win by a scoreline of 3-1.

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