Bilbao v Real Madrid:Bale returns for Los Blancos

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Real Madrid will be welcoming back Gareth Bale into their squad as they continue their hunt for the La Liga title which has eluded them in the past years.

Away from the nail-biting Champions League draw against Bayern, Real Madrid know them must also keep their focus on the league.

Two points ahead of arch rivals Barcelona and with one game in hand, Madrid has the chance to extend their lead over the Catalan side this weekend with a win against Athletic Bilbao.

Having won their last three, Zinedine Zidane’s emphatic side looks to be gaining momentum again. Having a little less than a week to rest and recover from their recent clustered schedule, Madrid could supply fans with an energetic performance, one that hopefully doesn’t conclude with a last second crunch goal.

Instead, maybe Madrid can win the game during regular time.

Bilbao is somewhat of a similar story. Winning three of their past four matches, Athletic have been in decent form. 

However, Athletic Club have lost 12 of their last 14 league games against Real Madrid (W1 D1), their only win was in March 2015 (1-0 at the new San Mames).



Team news

Athletic Bilbao

Mikel San Jose is suspended for Athletic, but that’s about it when it comes to unavailable players. It’s expected Benat and Iturraspe will play as holding midfielders with Raul Garcia, Lekue and Inaki Williams up front behind undisputed Aritz Aduriz.

Real Madrid

Meanwhile, Los Blancos have some defensive woes – both Varane and Pepe are unavailable for this match, with the small possibility of the Portuguese still playing if he recovers. Still, at the moment it looks like Nacho will accompany Ramos in the center-defence line.

Bale is back from his suspension meaning he’ll take place alongside Cristiano and Benzema in attack.


POSSIBLE STARTING XI:

Real Madrid: Navas; Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Carvajal, Nacho; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Bale, Ronaldo; Benzema

Athletic Bilbao: Arrizabalaga; Alvarez, Boveda, Balenziaga, Laporte, San Jose; Lekue, Benat, Garcia; Muniain, Williams


Prediction 

Bilbao 1-3 Real Madrid 

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