With two losses in their last five matches, Real Madrid have fallen behind in the title race to Barcelona as each match feels like a must win for Los Blancos. They were able to rebound with a comeback against Villarreal in the Copa del Rey but red cards and poor defense has seen Real allow eight goals in their last five matches in all competitions.
Karim Benzema’s return has helped the attack but the midfield can’t get things going in the absence of Aurelin Tchouameni during his injury. Eduardo Camavinga has been starting during his time out but hasn’t been good enough on the ball, leading to dangerous counterattacks.
Athletic Club can take advantage of this a as they’ve been one of the best home teams in the league with 17 points from nine home matches so far, only allowing four goals in San Mames Barria this season. Real Madrid will need to be more clinical to find their way past Unai Simon in net.
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
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How to watch and odds
- Date: Sunday, Jan. 22 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
- Location: San Mames Barria — Bilbao, Spain
- TV: None | Live stream: ESPN+
- Odds: Athletic Bilbao +190; Draw +230; Real Madrid +140 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Athletic Club: Yeray Alvarez will be serving a one match suspension after a bad tackle on Takefusa Kubo in Bilbao’s 3-1 loss to Real Sociedad. Outside of this absence, Athletic Club will have a full squad to choose from in the match. Going on the counter, the Willams brothers will cause quite a bit of trouble for Los Blancos.
Real Madrid: Carlo Ancelotti will be without five first teamers in this match as Eden Hazard has become the latest player to miss time. Dani Carvajal, David Alaba, Lucas Vazquez, and Tchouameni will all miss the match. Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema, and Rodrygo will likely lead the attack but Vinicius will need to provide more with only one goal contribution in his last five league matches. If he can get back into his early season form, winning won’t be an issue for Los Blancos.
Real Madrid will keep their late game magic going as Karim Benzema scores a winner after the 80th minute. Pick: Athletic Club 1, Real Madrid 2