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Jan 16, 2022 at 6.30pm UK
Real MadridReal Madrid
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao

Marcelino (51'), Garcia (77'), Alvarez (90')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Modric (38'), Benzema (52' pen.)
Militao (87')

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

:Headline: Preview: Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Supercopa de Espana clash between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Real Madrid will take on Athletic Bilbao in the final of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday evening, with both sides managing to navigate their way through difficult semi-final ties.

Los Blancos recorded a 3-2 win over Barcelona after extra-time to advance to the final, while the holders Athletic managed to beat Spanish champions Atletico Madrid 2-1 within 90 minutes.

Match preview

Federico Valverde's 98th-minute effort proved to be the difference between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the first semi-final on Wednesday evening, with Los Blancos coming out on top in the five-goal thriller to ensure that they would be present in the final of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday.

Los Blancos are the second most successful team in the history of this competition, lifting the trophy on 11 occasions, the last of which was in 2020, but they lost to Athletic in the semi-finals of last year's tournament.

Carlo Ancelotti's side have now been victorious in their last three games across three separate competitions, beating Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey and Valencia in the league.

Real Madrid are currently the team to catch in Spain's top flight, picking up 49 points from their opening 21 matches to sit first in the table, five points clear of second-placed Sevilla in what looks to be a two-team title race in the final months of the campaign.

The capital outfit have already beaten Athletic twice this season, winning both league matches between the two teams in December, while they have not lost to the Basque outfit in the league since March 2015, but as mentioned, the Lions were victorious in the Spanish Super Cup last term.

Athletic have won the Spanish Super Cup on three previous occasions and are the holders of the trophy, having beaten Barcelona 3-2 in the final of the 2021 competition.

The Basque outfit were trailing 1-0 to Atletico entering the final 15 minutes of Thursday's semi-final, but Yeray Alvarez levelled the scores in the 77th minute before Nico Williams netted the winner in the 81st minute.

Athletic have now been victorious in three of their last four matches in all competitions, including a 2-0 success over Mancha Real in the Copa del Rey earlier this month, but they played out a 0-0 draw with Alaves in their last league match on January 9.

Marcelino's side will be back in Copa del Rey action against Barcelona on January 20, and they are currently ninth in La Liga, so it could be a hugely successful campaign for the club.

The fact that the Lions did not have to play extra-time on Thursday is certainly a positive, but Real Madrid will have had an extra day to recover for this match, which has to place the capital outfit at an advantage.

Real Madrid Supercopa de Espana form:
  • W

Real Madrid form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Athletic Bilbao Supercopa de Espana form:
  • W

Athletic Bilbao form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Real Madrid travelled to Saudi Arabia without Mariano Diaz and Gareth Bale due to hamstring and back injuries respectively, while David Alaba missed out on the semi-final due to a hamstring issue.

Alaba is unlikely to recover in time for this match, so Nacho should continue in the middle of the defence, but there will have to be a change at right-back, as Dani Carvajal has tested positive for COVID-19.

Lucas Vazquez is in line to feature on the right side of the defence, while there could be a change in the final third of the field, with Rodrygo potentially coming in for Marco Asensio.

Ancelotti is expected to resist the temptation to alter his midfield, though, meaning that Valverde will more than likely have to accept a position on the bench once again.

As for Athletic, Unai Nunez, Unai Vencedor, Ander Capa and Asier Villalibre are all currently on the sidelines for the Basque outfit.

Mikel Vesga, Raul Garcia, Nico Williams and Yuri Berchiche all came off the bench in the semi-final and will be in contention should Marcelino decide to shuffle his pack for this match.

Vesga could replace Oier Zarraga in the middle of the park, but there are not expected to be any other alterations to the starting side, with an attacking team set to include Iker Muniain, Alex Berenguer, Inaki Williams and Oihan Sancet once again.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Nacho, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; De Marcos, Yeray, Martinez, Balenziaga; Berenguer, Vesga, D Garcia, Muniain; Sancet, I Williams

We say: Real Madrid 2-1 Athletic Bilbao

Athletic are more than capable of overcoming Real Madrid on Sunday, and the holders will enter the match full of confidence following their success over Atletico. Los Blancos are the favourites, though, and we are expecting Ancelotti's side to do just about enough within 90 minutes to secure the trophy for the 12th time.

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