Special One lost nine-year unbeaten home record last week, and now he travels to fifth-placed side looking to maintain chance of toppling Barcelona
|Athletic Bilbao: Iraizoz; Iraola, San Jose, Ekiza, Castillo; Lopez, Martinez, Orbaiz, Gabilondo; Llorente, Toquero.||
|Real Madrid: Casillas; Ramos, Pepe, Carvalho, Arbeloa; Khedira, Alonso; Ronaldo, Oezil, Di Maria; Adebayor.||
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- With only three draws all season, Athletic Bilbao have split points on fewer occasions than virtually any other La Liga club. Espanyol and Real Sociedad are the only teams to have tied on fewer occasions.
- None of these draws have come at San Mames, where they've won 10 of their 15 matches.
- The Basques look good for a place in the Europa League, lying in fifth, but they have little hope of catching Villarreal, who are nine points clear of them.
- After keeping three successive clean sheets at the end of January, Athletic have only shut-out their opponents once in the last eight games.
- Against teams in the top half of the table, they've won five of their 15 matches, losing all of their other 10 games.
- Real Madrid had enjoyed a run of eight matches undefeated in the league prior to last weekend's surprising reverse against Sporting Gijon.
- That loss their first failure to win at home all season, and Jose Mourinho's first home defeat in 151 matches - a run stretching back nine years.
- The Portuguese has made Madrid a formidable defensive unit this term, and only on three occasions have they conceded more than one goal in a solitary league game.
- In 30 La Liga matches to date, on 15 occasions Real games have produced fewer than three goals, and three times they've been held to scoreless draws.
- Exactly half the time, Mourinho's men have led at the interval, and in all of these matches they've picked up three points. The only other team to have such a record is Osasuna, who have won all of the six matches they've held the upper hand in at the interval.
- Indeed, whenever Madrid have gone ahead this season, they've always scooped maximum points.
November 20, 2010: Real Madrid 5-1 Athletic Bilbao
In the week before the campaign’s first Clasico, Real Madrid were expected to be severely tested at the Bernabeu by Athletic, but Jose Mourinho’s men made short work of the Basques. First-half goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo were tempered by a 40th minute effort from Fernando Llorente, though the hosts pulled away after the break. Sergio Ramos converted a penalty before Ronaldo completed his hat-trick by scoring a brace in the last half-hour.
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