Real Madrid vs Athletic Club Match Preview & Predictions

Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao preview

Real Madrid vs Athletic Club match preview and predictions for Tuesday’s LaLiga match. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as Los Blancos look to extend their winning streak.

  • DATE: Tuesday 15th December 2020
  • KICK-OFF: 22:00 (local time)
  • VENUE: Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano
  • COMPETITION: LaLiga

Real Madrid vs Athletic Club Preview


Real Madrid vs Athletic Club preview
Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano via Brgesto, CC BY-SA 3.0

While it is Copa del Rey 1st Round week in Spain, the sides involved in next month’s Supercopa have league fixtures against one another. All eyes will be on the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano for a late 22:00 kick-off on Tuesday between Real Madrid and Athletic Club. The hosts are aiming to build on an excellent run of results in tough games.

Making sense of Los Blancos so far this season is not an easy thing to do. They’ve already beaten Barcelona, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid in LaLiga while also doing the double over Inter Milan in the Champions League. However the same Real Madrid has been defeated at home by Cadiz and Alaves in LaLiga and has lost twice to Shakhtar Donetsk in Europe.

Clearly, more consistency and an ability to raise their level against the lesser teams will be the objective for Zinedine Zidane moving forwards. The quality of their controlling displays against Gladbach and Atleti over the past week demonstrated that on their day they are still a very good side with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos continuing to pull the strings from midfield.

Whether those players are capable of playing twice per week for any length of time is more doubtful and Athletic will be hoping they get a less intense Real Madrid display here. The Basques aren’t exactly excelling in the consistency department either and have failed to win back-to-back matches in over five months.

They’ve not been great on the road with an average of just 0.71 points per game on their travels so far this term. Athletic do though come into this one following a decent 2-2 draw at Valencia, although they’ll be a bit disappointed they failed to see the game out having taken the lead with 11 minutes to play thanks to Raul Garcia’s penalty.


Read our Copa del Rey match previews here!


Head to Head

  • Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 2 Real Madrid Wins, 4 Draws.
  • Athletic have failed to score in their 3 last games against Real Madrid.
  • They’ve not won on any of their last 16 away league trips to play Real Madrid but have avoided defeat on 2 of the last 3.
  • Athletic last beat Los Blancos in March 2015 – a 1-0 win at San Mames.

Team News

Casemiro is suspended for Los Blancos. Eden Hazard, Martin Ødegaard and Mariano are injury doubts.

The visitors have no major absentees but we may see some light rotation from the weekend draw in Valencia.

Predicted Real Madrid Starting Lineup:

Courtois – Mendy, Varane, Ramos, Carvajal – Kroos, Valverde, Modric – Vini, Benzema, Rodrygo (4-3-3)

Predicted Athletic Starting Lineup:

Simon – Yuri, Martinez, Yeray, Capa – Garcia, Lopez – Muniain, Garcia, Williams – Villalibre (4-2-3-1)


Real Madrid vs Athletic Club Predictions


Score Prediction: Real Madrid 2-1 Athletic

If Real Madrid’s season is anything to go by, this game is a higher risk fixture than the three that have proceeded it. Casemiro’s suspension adds an extra layer of risk as Real Madrid really do miss the Brazilian but Athletic simply do not tend to travel well and it’s hard to see an upset here.

LaLiga Betting Tips (18+)

View our betting picks for this match and all the others in the Spanish top flight by following LaLiga Expert for free on Tipstrr. You can view our profit/loss stats there.


Note that we don’t guarantee any long-term gains if you’re backing our La Liga tips and predictions. If you do choose to bet, only stake what you can afford to lose. See BeGambleAware for more on responsible gambling.

Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1602 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has also lived in Seville and Barcelona and has written extensively about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer.