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Jul 5, 2020 at 1pm UK
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
0-1
Real MadridReal Madrid

Garcia (39'), Garcia (73'), Muniain (90+5'), Berchiche (90+6')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Ramos (73' pen.)
Ramos (90+2'), Casemiro (90+3'), Carvajal (90+6')
/esi/1339/6_G_1_106380/index.html?art_id=404960&game_id=106380&sport_id=1&ESI

Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid, including team news and predicted lineups.

Real Madrid will be looking to open up a seven-point lead at the top of La Liga when they travel to an in-form Athletic Bilbao on Sunday afternoon.

Los Blancos are currently four points clear of second-placed Barcelona at the summit, while Athletic occupy eighth position, just four points off sixth-placed Getafe in the race for a Europa League spot.


Match preview

Athletic have been in impressive form since returning to action after the lockdown period, winning three, drawing two and losing just one of their six matches in Spain's top flight.

The Basque outfit have won three of their last four in the league, including an impressive 2-0 success at Valencia on Wednesday night, with their only defeat since during the same run coming against Barca.

Gaizka Garitano's side are currently eighth in the table, just four points off sixth-placed Getafe, who appear to be battling Villarreal, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid for two Champions League spots.

Athletic have been impressive on home soil in the league this season, winning nine of their 16 matches, which is a record only bettered by Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barca.

They have not beaten Los Blancos in La Liga since March 2015, although four of the last five meetings between the two sides in Spain's top flight have finished level.

Madrid, meanwhile, made it six straight league victories courtesy of a 1-0 success over Getafe on Thursday night, with Sergio Ramos coming up with a 79th-minute winner from the penalty spot.

Zinedine Zidane's side have now beaten Eibar, Valencia, Real Sociedad, Mallorca, Espanyol and Getafe since returning to action last month, which has seen them move to the top of the table.

The gap to second-placed Barca is currently four points, but the reigning champions do not face Villarreal until Sunday night, meaning that Madrid will have the chance to open up a seven-point advantage when they take to the field against Athletic on Sunday afternoon.

It is difficult to see where Los Blancos are going to drop points as they face Alaves, Granada, Villarreal and Leganes in their final four matches of the season.

Much of the team's success domestically this term has been built on a strong defence, with Zidane's team conceding just 21 times in their 33 matches, which is comfortably the best record in the division.

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form: DDWLWW

Real Madrid La Liga form: WWWWWW


Team News

Athletic will again be without the services of experienced midfielder Benat due to a hip problem, but the home side are otherwise in good shape when it comes to injuries.

There are not expected to be many surprises in the XI that takes to the field, with Inigo Cordoba likely to keep his spot alongside Iker Muniain, Inaki Williams and Raul Garcia in the final third.

Mikel Vesga for Unai Lopez is potentially a change that could occur in the middle of the park, although Garitano is unlikely to make many alterations from the side that impressively won at Valencia.

As for Madrid, key centre-back Raphael Varane is a doubt with a head injury after being forced off against Getafe on Thursday night when he was hit in the face by the ball.

Los Blancos will allegedly not make a final decision on the Frenchman until the morning of the match, although various reports in Spain have suggested that he will be available.

Nacho is still on the sidelines through injury, but Eden Hazard was only rested against Getafe and is likely to return to the starting XI for this match, potentially joining Karim Benzema and Isco in attack.

Zidane also has a decision to make when it comes to his midfield, and there is a chance that Federico Valverde's energy could be preferred to Luka Modric's experience alongside Casemiro and Toni Kroos.

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; Capa, Yeray, Martinez, Yuri; Lopez, D Garcia; Muniain, R Garcia, Cordoba; Williams

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Hazard, Benzema, Isco


We say: Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Real Madrid

As mentioned, four of the last five La Liga meetings between these two sides have finished level, while Madrid have not won at San Mames in the league since March 2017. Los Blancos are on a roll at the moment, but Athletic are also in impressive form, and we fancy a low-scoring draw on Sunday night.



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La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CReal Madrid38269370254587
2Barcelona38257686384882
3Atletico MadridAtletico381816451272470
4Sevilla381913654342070
5Villarreal381861463491460
6Real Sociedad38168145648856
7Granada38168145245756
8Getafe381412124337654
9Valencia381411134653-753
10Osasuna381313124654-852
11Athletic Bilbao381312134138351
12Levante38147174753-649
13Real Valladolid38915143243-1142
14EibarEibar38119183956-1742
15Real Betis381011174860-1241
16AlavesAlaves38109193459-2539
17Celta Vigo38716153749-1237
RLeganes38812183051-2136
RMallorca3896234065-2533
REspanyol38510232758-3125
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