La Liga title hopefuls Real Madrid host Athletic Bilbao in this bonus round of midweek fixtures. It’s a hectic time for Los Blancos, with Carlo Ancelotti having to carefully manage his squad before the winter break.
Where and when: Santiago Bernabeu – 1 December, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao: Premier Sports
Last time: Nacho scored the only goal of the game in the second half as Madrid secured a narrow victory at San Mames in last season’s penultimate round of fixtures.
Real Madrid v Athletic Bilbao Predictions and Preview
This is a key game for Real Madrid, as the capital club welcome Basque outfit Athletic Bilbao to the Bernabeu on Wednesday night. Los Blancos need to keep picking up strong points as we hurtle towards the end of the calendar year, with an intriguing title battle developing in La Liga.
Madrid appear to have recovered from a shaky start to the season, winning seven of their eight games prior to their date with Sevilla on Sunday, drawing the other against Osasuna. Ancelotti is getting the best out of Vinicius Junior, while Karim Benzema is also rattling in the goals.
Real do still have their issues in defence, having only kept one clean sheet in their five matches prior to the weekend, with that coming against Sheriff Tiraspol in the Champions League. However, that 3-0 victory was a real sign of Madrid’s improvement after lost to the Moldovan minnows at the Bernabeu in September.
Athletic, meanwhile, have been consistently average for most of the season so far. Los Leones began their campaign with a five-match unbeaten run in La Liga, although three of those matches ended in draws.
Marcelino’s side also drew three of their four games prior to their home game against Granada on Friday night, losing the other at home to a struggling Cadiz. Bilbao are unbeaten away from home this season, although they’ve only actually won one of those games, against Celta Vigo.
Another stalemate here would certainly suit the Basques more, with the draw potentially worth a look in this Real Madrid v Athletic Bilbao preview. That said, Los Blancos are the strong favourites to extend their 12-match unbeaten run against Athletic Club in La Liga.
Bilbao did beat Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana back in January, but Los Blancos are looking for their fourth straight league win against the San Mames side here. Real have won eight of those 12 most recent La Liga meetings, and will expect to add to that tally here.
One to watch for Real Madrid: Karim Benzema continues to be Los Blancos’ main goalscoring threat and is well worth a look to break the deadlock in these Real Madrid v Athletic Bilbao predictions.
One to watch for Athletic Bilbao: Inaki Williams has never been a prolific scorer but is closing in on last season’s goal return and could be worth a look to net anytime on Wednesday.
Long shot: Any form of win for the visitors constitutes a long shot in these Real Madrid v Athletic Bilbao tips. Los Leones will struggle to keep Madrid at bay for 90 minutes and are likely to need at least two goals to win the game, with a 2-1 away win potential of interest if you fancy the upset.