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Primera División

  • 17 November 2012
  • • 21:00
  • • Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
  • Referee: José Antonio Teixeira Vitienes
  • • Attendance: 76000
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Real Madrid - Athletic Bilbao Preview: Los Merengues look to maintain winning run

Real Madrid - Athletic Bilbao Preview: Los Merengues look to maintain winning run

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Jose Mourinho's side have won their last four Liga matches and will try to keep the pressure on leaders Barcelona when they entertain the Basques at the Bernabeu on Saturday

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

REAL MADRID

Casillas
Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao
Khedira, Alonso
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo
Benzema
ATHLETIC BILBAO

Iraizoz
Iraola, San Jose, Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe
Gurpegui, Iturraspe
Susaeta, Muniain, Gomez
Aduriz

Real Madrid duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil are fit for the visit of Athletic Bilbao after recovering from knocks suffered at Levante last weekend.

Sami Khedira (thigh) and Karim Benzema (groin) have returned to training and will be available for Saturday's clash, but Gonzalo Higuain and Marcelo are still sidelined.

Athletic will be without the services of midfield pair Ander Herrera and Oscar de Marcos, who are both suspended.

Inigo Perez and Borja Ekiza are major doubts with ankle problems, while Fernando Amorebieta could miss out after picking up a knock while on international duty with Venezuela.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Real Madrid have won six of their last seven matches in La Liga.
  • With just eight goals conceded, the Castilian giants have the tightest defence in the Primera Division this campaign.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured right) increased his Liga goal tally to 124 against Levante, surpassing Emilio Butragueno's record for Madrid. However, he still has someway to go to catch all-time club top scorer Raul (228 goals).
  • Athletic Bilbao have won just one of their last 13 away matches in all competitions (W1, D3, L9).
  • The Basque outfit have lost their last five Liga encounters with Real Madrid.
  • Athletic's last Liga victory over Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu was a 2-0 success in February 2005.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
3PepeDefender
4Sergio RamosDefender
5Fabio CoentraoDefender
17ArbeloaDefender
11Mesut ÖzilMidfielder
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
7Cristiano RonaldoStriker
9Karim BenzemaStriker
7José Callejón Striker
1AdànGoalkeeper
33Raúl Albiol Defender
18Nacho FernándezDefender
6Sami KhediraMidfielder
22Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
8KakáMidfielder
29MorataStriker
1IraizozGoalkeeper
3AurtenetxeDefender
6Mikel San José DomínguezDefender
15Andoni IraolaDefender
32Borja EkizaDefender
8IturraspeMidfielder
14SusaetaMidfielder
18Carlos GurpeguiMidfielder
11Ibai GómezStriker
19MuniainStriker
20Aritz Aduriz ZubeldiaStriker
13Raúl Fernández MateosGoalkeeper
-Xabi CastilloDefender
-RamalhoDefender
26Igor Martínez CaserasMidfielder
2ToqueroStriker
14Fernando Llorente Striker
-Ismael LópezStriker
Players to Watch
Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The gifted Frenchman has been in the shadow of Gonzalo Higuain this season and recently voiced his unhappiness over the lack of playing time at the Bernabeu. With the Argentine sitting out Saturday's clash through injury, Benzema will want to make the most of his opportunity and cement his spot in the starting XI.
Aritz Aduriz Zubeldia
Aritz Aduriz Zubeldia
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 20
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
With eight goals already in La Liga this term, the 31-year-old is undergoing something of a renaissance at the moment following a couple of largely frustrating seasons at Valencia. Aduriz will be keen to keep up his goalscoring form for Athletic and hope to add to his solitary cap for the national team.
Prediction
Madrid will look to secure a convincing win and build confidence ahead of their trip to Manchester City in the Champions League. Athletic travel to the capital without a couple of key players and may well have damage limitation on their minds.
Editor's Prediction

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