Real Madrid predicted lineup vs Athletic Club - La Liga

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Real currently have a sizable cushion at the top of La Liga
Real currently have a sizable cushion at the top of La Liga / Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Real Madrid's last game before the festive break sees them travel to Athletic Club, as they look to extend their lead at the top of La Liga.

Last time out, Carlo Ancelotti's side drew 0-0 with relegation threatened Cadiz and they will be eager to return to winning ways here.

However, their task will be made harder by a long list of absentees, caused dually by coronavirus and injury. Here is the starting XI Ancelotti is most likely to go with...

Real Madrid predicted lineup vs Athletic Club

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Eder Militao
Militao is an authoritative defender / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

Thibaut Courtois (GK) - Just three goalkeepers have recorded a higher save percentage than Courtois in La Liga this season.

Nacho (RB) - Brought on as a substitute on Sunday to face his brother who plays for Cadiz, Nacho will feature from the start this time.

Eder Militao (CB) - Comfortably Real's best defender this season, Militao will be unmoved from the defence.

David Alaba (CB) - Real's only summer signing has been an automatic starter when available this campaign.

Ferland Mendy (LB) - Back in the side after some injury issues, Mendy will be hoping to enjoy a season unaffected by too many fitness problems.

2. Midfielders

Eduardo Camavinga
Camavinga is in line for a start / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Federico Valverde (CM) - Always full of energy and bite, Valverde did not have his best game at the weekend but with Real's midfield ranks decimated he should keep his place.

Eduardo Camavinga (CM) - Camavinga has enjoyed some real moments of promise since arriving in the summer. Casemiro's suspension will see him drafted in against Athletic.

Toni Kroos (CM) - Kroos' passing has been a joy to behold over the past decade or so. He will need to be at his creative best to break down a stubborn Athletic side.

3. Forwards

Carlos Akapo, Vinicius Junior
Vinicius Junior is performing at an incredible level / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Lucas Vazquez (RW) - Eden Hazard played his first 90 minutes in about 15 years against Cadiz and seems unlikely to start again just a few days later. Vazquez is the obvious choice to replace him with Rodrygo and Marco Asensio out.

Karim Benzema (ST) - The timeless conductor of Real's attacking orchestra, Benzema already has 13 goals and seven assists in La Liga.

Vinicius Junior (LW) - Vini Jr is finally beginning to fulfill his potential this season. The Brazilian is in double figures for goals, tucking away some difficult chances along the way.

Read 90min's full Athletic Club vs Real Madrid preview here.