Los Merengues have won seven of their last eight fixtures in La Liga and will aim to extend that record against the depleted Basque outfit at San Mames on Sunday
Athletic Bilbao boss Marcelo Bielsa will be forced to make several changes for the Primera Division clash against Real Madrid.
Defender Andoni Iraola is sidelined after suffering a hamstring injury in the defeat at Sevilla while Carlos Gurpegui, Aymeric Laporte, Oscar de Marcos and Aritz Aduriz are all suspended.
However, striker Ibai (groin) will be available along with Markel Susaeta, who returns after serving a one-match ban.
Real Madrid trio Michael Essien, Kaka and Gonzalo Higuain are carrying knocks and are unlikely to be involved at San Mames.
Coach Jose Mourinho is certain to make several changes to freshen up his team after an arduous midweek trip to Galatasaray in the Champions League.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Athletic Bilbao have lost five of their last eight matches in La Liga.
- Los Leones have lost their last six encounters with Real Madrid.
- Athletic's last home win over Real was a 1-0 success in January 2010.
- Real Madrid have won nine of their last 11 matches in all competitions.
- Jose Mourinho (pictured, right) oversaw his 121st win as Madrid coach in the 5-1 thrashing of Levante. Only Vicente del Bosque (133) and Miguel Munoz (357) have presided over more victories at the Santiago Bernabeu club.