No competitive matches in three weeks and no Aritz Aduriz – both signs pointing in the opposite direction for the home team.
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid Preview
Athletic Bilbao’s 16th place finish last season was their worst in 11 years. The team struggled between competitions and won just 10 out of 38 LaLiga matches. Expectedly, Bilbao has a new coach. Eduardo Berizzo’s men kicked off the new campaign with two home fixtures – a 2-1 win versus Leganes and a 2-2 draw against newly-promoted Huesca in which they conceded late. The Basques’ trip to Rayo Vallecano was postponed due to stadium safety concerns. The players essentially received an unplanned three-week vacation, as most of them weren’t involved in international fixtures.
Real Madrid has bounced back from a tough UEFA Super Cup loss to Atletico Madrid by winning all three LaLiga games, scoring ten and conceding two. The wins were against Getafe, Girona and Leganes, hardly opponent worthy of taking points away from a star-studded squad like Lopetegui’s. Karim Benzema (4) and Gareth Bale (3) are Real Madrid’s top goalscorers, both keen to show Los Blancos weren’t all about Cristiano Ronaldo. Marco Asensio is making a case for a spot in the starting eleven. He was there versus Leganes and should be again after a fantastic performance against Croatia.
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid Team News
Goalkeeper Iago Herrerin and experienced striker Aritz Aduriz are likely out for Athletic Bilbao. Unai Simon and Inaki Williams are expected to take their places in Berizzo’s starting lineup. On the other side, Alvaro Odriozola is fit following injury. Real’s new acquisition will be on the bench, backing up Dani Carvajal. Thibaut Courtois started the last game and should be back between the posts on Saturday as well.
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid Kick-off Time
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid Bet365 Odds
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid H2H
Both meetings last season ended in draws. The one in Bilbao was the first goalless draw between the two in 40 league games. In general, Real Madrid has lost just one of the last 17 meetings with the Basque side (W13, D3) and haven’t conceded more than a goal in any of their last nine LaLiga visits to Athletic. Los Blancos are also on a 22-game goalscoring streak in all competitions.