Athletic Bilbao – Real Madrid

Athletic Bilbao hosts Real Madrid in the Basque capital in a match from the 18th round of La Liga. Let’s see what we can tell you about this game in the next few paragraphs.

Athletic are just two points behind the 4th Atletico Madrid and the Top 4 which gives them big motivation to take the win. The team is playing well since the return of Ernesto Valverde, but at the same time they won just one of their last five matches in the league.

In the previous round the Basques faced Real Sociedad in the local derby, but suffered a 1-3 defeat away from home. Oihan Sancet scored for Athletic at the Reale Arena, but Sociedad were just better that night.

During the week Athletic Bilbao progressed in the Copa del Rey. Valverde’s team hosted Espanyol and achieved a 1-0 win at home. Oscar De Marcos scored the only goal in the game in the middle of the first half.

Real Madrid are second in the standings with 38 points which puts them three points behind Barcelona. Los Blancos arrive in the Basque capital just one week after losing the Spanish Super Cup against the Catalans. Now Carlo Ancelotti must find a way to boost his players’ confidence – Madrid were dominated by Barcelona in Saudi Arabia.

The Italian head coach could make some changes in the line-up compared to the Super Cup final. Fede Valverde could be moved back in midfield while Rodrygo or Marco Asensio start in the attack. Meanwhile Nacho could be picked in the defense after the poor performance against Barca. Dani Carvajal could sit on the bench because he was not on a good level against Los Cules.

That’s the preview for the La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid on Sunday. It’s going to be a tough game for both sides. Let’s see how it would go.