|La Liga 2014-15|
| Athletic Bilbao
||vs|| Real Madrid C.F.
ScheduleSaturday, 7 March 2015 at 16:00 GMT / 16:00 UK / 21:30 IST
VenueSan Mamés (Bilbao)
Next Saturday, 7th of March 2015, the league leaders, Real Madrid, will travel to the Basque Country to measure forces with Athletic Bilbao at the emblematic San Mamés for round 26 of Liga BBVA, on a match that is historically complicated for the current European champions but that they need to win in order to keep their closest title contenders at bay.
Athletic Bilbao’s supporters are particularly pleased after the team, which has been experiencing several difficulties at La Liga so far this season, granted a place on the Copa del Rey final last Wednesday’s night. The Basque team managed to impose themselves against Espanyol at Catalunya by 2-0, after having conceded a draw of the first leg match in San Mamés. Los Leones have put up a very interesting performance and managed to surprise Espanyol who weren’t able to take advantage of playing the second leg match in front of their supporters at Estadi Cornellà El-Prat. Two first-half goals, one from the usual suspect Aduriz and another from Etxeita, were enough for Ernesto Valverde’s boys to seal the win against a moralized Espanyol that had left behind the powerful Valencia on the previous round of the competition.
After a somewhat complicated period at the beginning of the new year, Athletic managed to put themselves together and are now on a good streak, with two wins and one draw on their last three league matches.
The upcoming clash against the all-powerful Real Madrid will definitely be a complicated test for the Basque team, especially if we have in mind Athletic’s recent home record on the matches against Los Blancos. For that particular fixture, Ernesto Valverde will not be able to rely on the contribution of Iturraspe and Bustinza, both sidelined due to injury, and on Mikel San José, who is currently suspended.
As for Real Madrid, their last weekend’s home draw against Villarreal has somewhat mined their position at the top of La Liga’s table, since Barcelona are now just two points behind them. Los Blancos didn’t have the best of nights against the Yellow Submarine, as they’ve failed to materialized all the goal chances they created. A penalty from Ronaldo put them on the lead but just twelve minutes later, Villarreal got the equalizer thanks to a goal from Moreno.
Despite of their recent inconsistency, the current European champions are firm favourites for next Saturday’s match, since another defeat would certainly cost them the first place of the table.
Stats: W-3 L-1 D-1
Recent Form - WWLWD
Stats: W-3 L-1 D-1
Recent Form - DWWWL
Athletic Bilbao (4-2-3-1) - Iraizoz - D. Marcos - Gurpegi - Etxeita - Balenziaga - Susaeta - M. Rico - Muniain - Williams - Ibai - Aduriz
Real Madrid (4-4-2) - Casillas - Carvajal - Varane - Pepe - Marcelo - Silva - Kroos - Ronaldo - Isco - Bale - Benzema