comPublicado a las: 22/01/202320:50CET Final warm up for MadridLast chance to get those muscles in gear ahead of kick off. We'll be underway in around 15 minutes or so... comPublicado a las: 22/01/202320:46CET SOCCERWelcome back, Mr. ModricHe's not made the starting XI but we'd expect to see Madrid number 10, Luka Modric involved at some point. Here's a piece on the return of the Croatian by my colleague, Carlos Forjanes. Belgian warm-upsNot as tasty as waffles but Courtois definitely getting a good going over by coach Llopis as the ground begins to fill up. Will he be a busy man tonight? He's saved the team on many an occasion before. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202320:34CET Athletic vs Madrid nostalgiaSome cracking images of the past from the social media team of our hosts today. Check out these four, a reminder that this fixture has been played since long before any of us were close to being around. Want to know the head-to-head? OK, give me a sec... comPublicado a las: 22/01/202320:28CET Athletic Club vs Madrid: injuries/suspensionIn case you're wondering later why some key names are missing, allow me to summarise:Athletic: Alvarez (red card), Martinez (foot)Madrid: Alaba (calf), Carvajal (muscle), Hazard (ankle), Lucas (ankle), Tchouameni (calf)as.
comPublicado a las: 22/01/202320:26CET Athletic Club vs Real Madrid: H2HCheck this graphic out (thanks to the team at SofaScore for providing the data) which reminds us that Madrid lost out by a single goal the last time they came here. Given the form of both sides, I'd be willing to wage my salary for tonight's coverage that we won't be seeing another 5-0 thumping by Los Blancos. Prior to that win, Madrid had edged the previous four meetings. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202320:22CET Real Madrid goal scorersThere's little surprise who leads the way when it comes to the net filling for Madrid. Benzema may have had the World Cup injury setback but he is back to get his groove on as he and the team target more silverware. Just greedy, in my opinion.
More is expected in this regard from Asensio, although given the role El Pajarito plays for Ancelotti he's got a very respectable goal return and almost makes up for others. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202320:12CET Athletic goal scorersGuruzeta on the bench may well be a handy change for later, depending on how this game pans out. Iñaki and Nico will definitely be looking to combine early on to get in behind Los Blancos' defence. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202320:08CET Ancelotti's picksAre you happy with that line-up, Madridistas? The hope will be that with the combination of Ceballos, Valverde and Camavinga across the midfield that there will be plenty of energy and creativity to trouble the hosts. And what about Benzema adding to his tally? Let's check out where the goals have been coming from...
comPublicado a las: 22/01/202322:20CET Señor Sánchez Martínez is happy to let things flow here. Vinicius has been frustrated a couple of times when a robust challenge has seen him dirty his white kit in the mud, and now Iñaki goes down under pressure from Rudiger as he tried to sprint away down the left. An enthusiastic 'get on with it' waving arm sends the message that only real fouls will be called.
comPublicado a las: 22/01/202320:05CET Starting XI: Real MadridCourtois, Militao, Rüdiger, Nacho, Mendy, Camavinga, Ceballos, Valverde, Asensio, Vinicius Jr., Benzemaas. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202319:53CET Starting XI: Athletic ClubUnai Simón; De Marcos, Paredes, Vivian, Yuri; Vesga, Zarraga, Sancet; Nico Williams, Berenguer; Iñaki Williams. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202319:52CET Team news incoming...
comPublicado a las: 22/01/202322:10CET Great work from Nico and Iñaki Williams, a one-two opening it up for a low cross from the left. Madrid do well to ensure there is no space for that to get across and clear the ball away. Bright start from the hosts, and the crowd join in. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202322:07CET We're go! What have Athletic got up their red, white and black sleeves? as.
comPublicado a las: 22/01/202319:51CET How it stands: Real MadridMadrid too are looking to bounce back from their most recent LaLiga disappointment against Villarreal (2-1). The reigning domestic and continental champions will go into the match after recording another impressive comeback in the club’s history, this time against Villarreal (2-3) in the Copa del Rey. One they'd rather have not had to, but it was a win that must surely have helped in terms of confidence after their previous 1-3 defeat to Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final.
The league clash will be Madrid's first (Liga) game at the Santiago Bernabeu since the World Cup break. as. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:06CET Athletic win a corner after just 26 seconds and it's going to be swung in by Sancet. Nothing to bother Courtois and Madrid clear the danger. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:04CET Off we go at San Mames... the home side start the action. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:02CET Wonderful scenes at San Mames as a massive tifo and mosaic greets both teams.
Kroos delivers and Benzema flicks an effort wide of Simon's back post. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202322:47CET Toni Kroos is about to come on, for Ceballos, and if you want the rest of the substitution action then check out the 'line-ups' section above. The addition of the experienced German must be to get more control of this game, as Ancelotti's men don't currently have that. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202322:45CET The pressure is building on Madrid. The Lions of Bilbao are eyeing their potential prey, licking their collective lips at some of the openings starting to appear. Can they pounce on one of them? as.
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comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:42CET Decent ball in from Oscar de Marcos but he needs more support up in the danger area. The game is definitely evolving after that Benzema goal. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:40CET Vinicius is getting more and more involved, as the goal, and Athletic's change in urgency, leaves open spaces in behind.
Asensio didn't deliver. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202322:26CET You know when you have a game when, on the whole, both sets of players are cancelling each other out? This is like that, and both managers are thinking similarly, with several changes about to be made. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202322:25CET Overly hopeful calls for a penalty as Iñaki Williams collapses while watching the ball trundle out of play. The crowd are claiming everything right now, desperate for a way back into this game. From the player's face, it was pretty clear he didn't expect the ref to point to the spot. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202322:22CET Brilliant save from Simon -- if he knew much about it I'm not so sure -- as Nacho latches onto a blocked Benzema effort from close range. It's all getting a little hectic when the ball reaches either penalty area.
Big week for both teams with Copa del Rey action for both coming up midweek. Athletic are off to Valencia and there's the small matter of the Madrid derby Copa clash for Real Madrid next Thursday. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:02CET Barça give Madrid incentiveNot that it was needed, but a 1-0 victory over Getafe thanks to a goal from Pedri should be enough of a reminder that dropping more points right now wouldn't be great for Los Blancos. A win and we're back to a three point gap.
comPublicado a las: 22/01/202322:33CET Nico! What have you just done? Missed a great opportunity is what! All alone at the back post, the 20-year old fluffed his lines, dragging his right footed effort across goal and out for a goal kick. Must. Do. Better. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202322:30CET Ooooooohhh! Asensio comes so close. And that would have been so nice, as the Mallorcan latched onto a delightful pass from Benzema, which in turn came on the back of some sublime interplay between the Frenchman and Valverde. A move that deserved a clinical finish.
comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:33CET Madrid looking to push home this advantage. Valverde getting on the ball again and letting fly from distance. Nothing too troubling but we all know the Uruguayan has that in his locker. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:33CET Benzema volleys homeThat's his ninth of the season.
comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:12CET Madrid now back in the contest after being outplayed for the opening five minutes or so. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:12CET A frantic February actually lies ahead for Real Madrid with a real fixture list pile-up a possibility as they will play in the Copa del Rey (assuming they beat Atleti in the quarter-final on Thursday). They then head to Morocco to participate in the Club World Cup where they are expected to meet Flamengo in the Rabat final on 11th. They also face Liverpool in the Round of 16 in the Champions League with the usual domestic fixtures coming thick and fast each weekend. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:10CET One way traffic at the moment as the home side dominate with Real Madrid unable to get the ball into the opposition half. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:07CET It's a LaLiga Basque double for Real Madrid as Carlo Ancelotti's men will face in-form Real Sociedad next Sunday night.
comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:31CET Benzema opens the scoringas. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:27CET Madrid shifting the ball about quite nicely at times but as soon as they step into the opposition half they are met by a swarm of red and white shirts. Plenty mixing it up though as they search for an opening. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:26CET Penalty shout from Asensio on the back of the last corner. The Spaniard falls to the turf and appears to be eyeing the referee while in the process.
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comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:21CET Close from Nico Williams as he drills a fine curled effort that drifts wide of Courtois' post. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:19CET The Williams brothers combining well as Nico almost finds Iñaki with a lofted ball into the box. A bright and open game unfolding here at San Mames. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:17CET Vini streaks free and finds Benzema. The French striker fails to control the ball and just as the move breaks down, the offside flag is up. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202321:14CET Paredes heads and Courtois saves... once again the Belgian doing well to palm the effort wide.
comPublicado a las: 22/01/202322:36CET Modric is onWere you hoping to see (read about) the Croatian magician today? Well, he's got about 15 to strut his stuff. comPublicado a las: 22/01/202322:34CET Has Muniain just been shot? He's certainly gone down as though Nacho slipped out some weapon and fired it straight at him. Truth is, although there was a slight coming together, there was no need for that reaction. But given his choice of facial hairstyle, embarrasment may be beyond him.
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