La Liga

Real Madrid vs Athletic Club: TV channel, live stream, team news & prediction

Grey Whitebloom
Real Madrid haven't lost to Athletic Club in the league since 2015, but were knocked out of Spain's Supercopa by the Basque side last season
Real Madrid haven't lost to Athletic Club in the league since 2015, but were knocked out of Spain's Supercopa by the Basque side last season / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages
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Real Madrid host Athletic Club on Wednesday night for a rescheduled La Liga fixture that was originally pencilled in for October.

In light of the extended CONMEBOL qualifying campaign during that month's international break, La Liga accepted a request to postpone the fixture. Athletic, who famously only recruit Basque players, would have been unaffected by this congestion yet will now duke it out against a Real Madrid side bolstered by a full compliment of South American internationals.

Here's all you need to know about the midweek matchup.


How to watch Real Madrid vs Athletic on TV/live stream

When is kick off? Wednesday 1 December, 20:00 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? Santiago Bernabeu
What TV channel is it on? LaLiga TV (UK), ESPN+ (US), TSN (Canada)
Highlights? La Liga YouTube channel (UK)
Referee? Isidro Díaz de Mera Escuderos


Real Madrid team news

David Alaba overcame an injury scare after a knee sprain that proved mild enough to start in the weekend's 2-1 win over Sevilla. Dani Ceballos hasn't played for the club in more than 18 months, but has returned to training this week.

Much like the former Arsenal loanee, Gareth Bale is ruled out of the midweek fixture as he continues to recover from a calf strain he picked up on international duty with Wales in November, aggravating a previous concern in his first game for two months.


Athletic team news

Athletic's forward Asier Villalibre has been hampered by yet another muscle strain in recent weeks after pulling up with hamstring injuries in September and October.

Alongside long-term absentees Yuri Berchiche (groin) and Peru Nolaskoain (ankle) - both of whom are yet to feature this season - Athletic are likely to be without defender Daniel Vivian as he continues his recovery from a hamstring strain in October.

The biggest absence for Los Leones comes in the form of their totemic centre back Inigo Martinez, who will serve his suspension after receiving a red card against Granada in the 99th minute last weekend.


Real Madrid vs Athletic predicted lineups

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Camavinga, Casemiro, Valverde; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius.

Athletic: Simon; Lekue, Nunez, Alvarez, Balenziaga; Berenguer, Dani Garcia, Vencedor, Muniain; Williams, Raul Garcia.


Real Madrid vs Athletic head-to-head record

Only three teams have ever competed in every season of La Liga since its inception in 1929 - two of them meet in midweek. Madrid and Athletic have faced each other 180 times in Spain's top flight, with the capital giants claiming victory in just over half of the games (93).

However, the rivalry has been far more one-sided of late; Madrid have lost just one of their last 23 league games against Athletic (W17 D5) - though Carlo Ancelotti was Los Blancos coach for that defeat at the old San Mames in 2015.

The last time Athletic claimed a La Liga victory at Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu, David Beckham and Michael Owen both lined up in all white (February 2005).


Real Madrid vs Athletic score prediction

This fixture can be boiled down to a clash between Spain's best attack and the division's tightest defence. Madrid - supercharged by the blistering finishing hot streaks of Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior - are scoring by the bucket-load and have netted at least twice in their last six matches.

What Athletic lack in firepower - no player has more than three league goals this season - is compensated by a rearguard that only three teams in Europe's top five leagues can better (conceding just ten goals in 14 games).

However, with Martinez ripped out of the heart of that backline ahead of the toughest defensive task they'll face all season, Athletic's sparse concession tally may increase in midweek.

Prediction: Real Madrid 2-1 Athletic Club


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