Real Madrid travel to the San Mames Stadium to face Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish La Liga on Saturday afternoon, in a game that could see them take a big step towards the title. Los Blancos could go five points clear at the summit with a win this weekend, but may be embroiled in a high-scoring affair against a rampant Bilbao side which should make for an entertaining spectacle.
Ernesto Valverde’s Athletic Bilbao side are currently seventh in the Spanish La Liga table with 44 points from 27 games this season, coming off the back of four wins from their last half a dozen outings. Bilbao have been formidable on home soil too, boasting four consecutive victories at the San Mames Stadium, while losing only once in their own backyard in the league this campaign.
And with Athletic scoring two of more goals in six home games since December, a Real Madrid side that struggle defensively on the road may have a tricky time. The visitors find themselves top of the division with 62 points from 26 games, having won three and drawn one of their last four. Real have lost two of their last five away outings, conceding nine goals in their previous five home and away, and may not have it all their own way this weekend as a result.
Athletic Bilbao will be without forward Sabin but otherwise will have a clean bill of health.
Real Madrid, however, have three players out of action. Defenders Pepe, Raphaël Varane (hamstring) and Fábio Coentrão are expected to be absent.
Athletic Bilbao have been full of goals while Real Madrid can’t stop conceding of late, but the visitors are expected to come away with the much-needed win to pull clear at the top. Real have won three of their previous four away games in the league and should have enough to pick up all three points. There could be plenty of goals.