Marcelo is back in contention while Eden Hazard is set to replace Vinicius Junior in the lineup when Real Madrid lock horns with Athletic Bilbao this Sunday.
Real Madrid will be aiming to grab all three points and stay alive in the La Liga title race when they travel to San Mames to take on Athletic Bilbao in the penultimate matchweek of the 2020/21 campaign.
Heading into the game, Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has been treated with an injury boost as veteran defender Marcelo is back in contention after missing the midweek clash against Granada due to fitness issues. Providing an update on the Brazilian in his pre-match press conference, Zidane said: “He’ll be with us. He’s not feeling any discomfort and will be with us”.
However, Los Blancos continue to be without Lucas Vazquez, Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos and Ferland Mendy due to injuries while Toni Kroos is in self-isolation after he came in close contact with a person who tested positive for coronavirus.
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats
With the title on the line, Real Madrid manager Zidane is unlikely to make any major tweaks to the side that defeated Granada in midweek, although, there could be a few alterations. In goal, there is no looking past the reliable figure of Thibaut Courtois, while the centre-back partnership of Eder Militao and Nacho Fernandez ought to remain intact as well.
Despite Marcelo’s return, academy ace Miguel Gutierrez could get another start here after the youngster impressed in the midweek win. There will be a change at right-back though with Alvaro Odriozola, who scored after coming on as a substitute against Granada, set to replace Marvin Park, who misses out from the travelling squad that Zidane has picked.
Moving into the middle of the park, Casemiro is a certain starter at the base of the three-man unit while Luka Modric should also feature after a stunning performance in midweek. In Kroos’ continued absence Federico Valverde is likely to get another starting opportunity, although Zidane could also lean towards Isco if he seeks more creativity from the centre of the pitch.
In the final third, Karim Benzema, who has been the go-to man for Real Madrid is a guaranteed starter while Rodrygo Goes did enough against Granada to retain his place on the right-wing. On the left flank though, there is set to be a change as Eden Hazard is likely to come into the lineup after a bright cameo, replacing Vinicius Junior. Marco Asensio will once again be an option from the bench.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Odriozola, Militao, Nacho, Gutierrez; Modric, Casemiro, Valverde; Rodrygo, Benzema, Hazard
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