Real Madrid host Athletic Club on Wednesday night for a rescheduled La Liga fixture that was originally pencilled in for October.
In light of the extended CONMEBOL qualifying campaign during that month’s international break, La Liga accepted a request to postpone the fixture. Athletic, who famously only recruit Basque players, would have been unaffected by this congestion yet will now duke it out against a Real Madrid side bolstered by a full compliment of South American internationals.
Here’s all you need to know about the midweek matchup.
Preview: Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao – prediction, team news, lineups
In their bid to make it five league wins on the bounce, Real Madrid play host to Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.
Los Blancos moved four points clear at the top of the La Liga table with a win over Sevilla at the weekend, while the visitors saw their league winless run stretched to five games.
Following the return of manager Carlo Ancelotti over the summer, Real Madrid have had a relatively strong start in their bid to reclaim the La Liga title.
In line with an improvement in the Champions League, with the Madrid giants confirming their passage to the round of 16 with a double over Shakhtar Donetsk and a victory against Sheriff Tiraspol consecutively, they have also strung four league wins together heading into Wednesday.
After wins over Elche and Rayo Vallecano heading into the recent international break, Ancelotti’s men picked up where they left off upon the return, firstly thrashing Granada 4-1 thanks to goals from Marco Asensio, Nacho, Vinicius Junior and Ferland Mendy.
Vinicius was again on the scoresheet last time out, as he secured all three points for his side in the dying minutes against Sevilla, after Karim Benzema had drawn them level in the first half at the Santiago Bernabeu
With previous league leaders Real Sociedad falling to a defeat at the weekend, Los Blancos now boast a four-point lead at the summit of the Spanish top flight, having won 10 of their 14 games, and they will be keen to make it five on the spin on home turf on Wednesday.