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Spanish La Liga

Starting XI: Bilbao v Real

Spanish La Liga

Teams: Athletic Club v Real Madrid

Venue: San Mamés Barria

Date: 02 December 2017

Two out of form sides will go head to head at San Mamés as Athletic Bilbao host Real Madrid in the last of La Liga’s Saturday clashes.

The match will get underway at 20h45.

Los Blancos progressed to the Copa del Rey last 16 in midweek, but they were far from convincing in a 2-2 home draw with Fuenlabrada, which saw them claim a 4-2 aggregate win.

Gareth Bale was instrumental for Zinedine Zidane’s side, swinging the game in their favour with an assist seconds after coming off the bench on his return from injury.

Real have sorely missed the Welshman throughout his lengthy absence, with Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo struggling to hit their best form.

Their opponents have also endured a barren season in front of goal, netting just 14 times in 13 league games.

With former Athletic manager Ernesto Valverde flourishing at Barcelona, his successor, José Ángel Ziganda, is under pressure already — having claimed just three league wins so far this season.

He and Los Blancos legend Zidane have little in common, but right now, they are united by the pressure imposed upon them by Valverde’s success. Both managers severely need a win to keep the critics at bay — and as a result, the teams head into this game with plenty on the line.

Here's how they line up:

Bilbao: Kepa; De Marcos, Núñez, Etxeita, Balenziaga; Rico, Iturraspe; Williams, Raúl García,Suaeta; Aduriz.

Real: Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Isco, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Cristiano, Benzema.

 

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