La Liga Clash ; Athletic Bilbao v/s Real Madrid

La Liga is back for a weekday match day to offer some pure entertainment off your day’s schedule. We have seen some great games this season and we will expect more of this match too. It has arrived very abruptly, but with the right intention. This match of Matchday 23 is scheduled ahead due to Supercopa De Espana being conducted on that weekend. It is a match between the Athletic Club of Bilbao facing the Royal Whites of Madrid. It will be played at San Memes with a very clear evening with expected rain, hoping that the entertainment might not change for a second.

Why should you watch it?

Athletic facing Real Madrid has its own history and it was called El Viejo Clasico or the Old Classic. These clubs have faced each other 237 times, out of which Real Madrid has won 118 times, and Athletic won it 75 times with 44 drawn fixtures. Real Madrid has more stability under Carlo Ancelotti, who has more win percentage managing Los Blancos overall. They have lost just once of the last 5 games played against Bilbao. The last time they faced, Real Madrid won 1-0 with a superb display of defence and Goalkeeping by Thibaut Courtois.

Real Madrid

Though this team has their consistency at their peak, there are many injury woes coming. Out with Covid-19 are Alaba, Asensio, Bale, Isco, Lunin, Marcelo and Rodrygo. Modric is recovered but still needs time to get fully recovered. Ceballos has an ankle injury that still needs recovery, whereas, Carvajal has a soleus injury. Casemiro is suspended for a game for conceding 5 yellow cards this season.    

Form: – WWWWD

Predicted Lineup

Formation : 4-3-3

 Goalkeeper: – Courtois

  Defenders: -Nacho,  Militao, Alaba, Mendy

  Midfield: – Valverde, Camavinga, Kroos

  Attack: – Vazquez , Benzema , Vinicius Jr

Players to Watch out for

  • Thibaut Courtois

One of the best goalkeepers in the world right now, Thibaut “Wall-of-Madrid” Courtois is probably the eighth wonder of the world. The saves he makes every day for the Blancos is literally inhuman and only the BelgianCustodian can do it so consistently. Over the years, he has saved Madrid every time when it mattered the most. With over 70 saves already, the goalie hasn’t yet let the fragilities of Madrid defence be exposed. His reflex and anticipatory power is one that others thrive for. In such big games, it’s always Courtois who delivers the most. Ancelotti will once again depend on him to provide a good show Vs Bilbao tonight.

  • Karim Benzema

The Frenchman is in the form of his life and is on another level now for the Los Blancos. He is relieving his best form ever in his career this season in the white jersey. Across the top five leagues in Europe, he’s the player with the most G+A with 18 goals and 8assists in 22 games. His work rate on the pitch is just sensational for a player of his age. Along with that, his heading capabilities, shooting prowess, goalscoring-proficiency and dribbling abilities makes him one of the best in the business. No wonder he is always the go-to man for Ancelotti in any game. In such important games, Benzema would be eager to prove his worth yet again

Athletic Bilbao

 Injuries for the Basque Countryside are less but impactful for this game. Asier Villalibrewith a hamstring pull. Dani Vivian, Peru Nolaskoain and Yuri Berchiche are also injured with some minor injuries. Inigo Martinez and Unai Simon are still Covid-19 positive and are joined by Alex Berenguer and Jokin Ezkieta.  

Form: – DLDLW

Predicted XI

Formation : 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: – Agirrezabala;

Defenders: – De Marcos,  Yeray,  Nunez,  Balenziaga;

Midfielders: – N Williams,  D Garcia, Vencedor,  Muniain;

Attackers: –   R Garcia , I Williams

Players to watch out for

  • Iker Muniain

Munian is by far the best player for Athletic Bilbao with 2 goals and 5 assists in 17 appearances. His darting runs down the left flank, awesome crossing and passing abilities are a threat to any defence. He will trouble the depleted Madrid defence with his defence-splitting passes as well as in counter-attacks. No wonder he will be Marcelino’s main man against the Los Blancos.

Williams and Muniain
Williams and Muniain
  • Inaki Williams

The Spanish striker is one of the biggest attacking threat in the whole Bilbao team. He is a fox in the box and doesn’t let any chance to let away within the 18 yard box. His heading precision, shooting accuracy as well as positioning sense is appreciable. With 5 goals across the campaign so far, he will definitely be a big danger to an Alaba-less Madrid defence. He will be eager to polish his scoring boots once when his side welcomed Madrid tonight.


Athletic Club is playing at their home in a very vibrating atmosphere, but the whites don’t look scared. But the game promises you some passion and aggression with full entertainment. It is La Liga, a league full of surprises and footballing entertainment. So, get ready for the most entertainment.

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Chinmay Buva

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