The Spanish Super Cup is set to kick off with exciting semi-final clashes this week as Real Madrid take on a feisty Athletic Bilbao outfit at La Rosaleda on Thursday. Real Madrid will view the competition as an excellent opportunity to win silverware and will not want to slip up in this game.
Athletic Bilbao are currently in 12th place in the La Liga standings and have improved over the past month. Former Valencia manager Marcelino has taken the reins at the Basque outfit and his counter-attacking style of management will bode well for the side going into this game.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, are competing with Atletico Madrid for the La Liga title this season and will need to get their season back on track after a disappointing stalemate against Osasuna. Los Blancos have endured a difficult month off the football pitch and have a point to prove ahead of this fixture.
Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Head-to-Head
Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao are two of the oldest clubs in Spain and share an intriguing rivalry on the pitch. The two teams have 234 games against each other and Real Madrid have won 116 games as opposed to Athletic Bilbao's 74 victories.
The previous meeting between the two sides last year ended in a 3-1 victory for Real Madrid. Karim Benzema was excellent on the day and will play a pivotal role in this match.
Real Madrid form guide: D-W-D-W-W
Athletic Bilbao form guide: L-W-L-D-W
Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Team News
According to recent reports, Luka Jovic and Dani Carvajal have been deemed fit ahead of this game but are unlikely to be risked against Athletic Bilbao. Eden Hazard, Mariano Diaz, and Martin Odegaard also remain doubtful going into this match.
Doubtful: Luka Jovic, Dani Carvajal, Eden Hazard, Mariano Diaz, Martin Odegaard
Peru Nolaskoain is currently injured and will not be able to play a part this week. Yeray Alvarez has recovered from his knock but is likely to be eased back into contention over the next few weeks.
Injured: Peru Nolaskoain
Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Predicted XI
Real Madrid Predicted XI (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Ferland Mendy, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal; Federico Valverde, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric; Lucas Vazquez, Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema
Athletic Bilbao Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Unai Simon; Yuri Berchiche, Inigo Martinez, Unai Nunez, Ander Capa; Dani Garcia, Unai Lopez; Inaki Williams, Raul Garcia, Iker Muniain; Asier Villalibre
Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Prediction
Real Madrid do have a few injury concerns but have plenty of quality in their ranks and are lethal at their best. Zinedine Zidane has a point to prove this season and will want to win the Spanish Super Cup this month.
Athletic Bilbao are the underdogs in this competition and will look to pull off an upset this week. Real Madrid are the better team, however, and should be able to win this match.
Prediction: Real Madrid 2-1 Athletic Bilbao
Published 12 Jan 2021, 15:05 IST