Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao 19/04/18
Real Madrid are set to host Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu following a 2-1 win over Malaga on the road last weekend in which Zinedine Zidane decided to rest his key players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo, Bale, and Luka Modric. Los Blancos have failed to show the same continuity in La Liga this season which will ultimately cost them losing the title to Barcelona, but their chances of claiming the Champions League trophy for the third time in as many years are very much alive, and that’s why this game should be considered a preparation for the duel with Bayern Munich. After a slow start, Los Merengues have stepped up their game over the course of the season demonstrating all of their attacking potential especially during the last couple of weeks, scoring eighteen goals in previous six La Liga games. In the meantime, Athletic Bilbao would want to forget this season as soon as possible, as they’ve completely dropped in all aspects of their game losing any chance of reaching European football for the next year. Only last weekend, Deportivo La Coruna managed to walk away with all three points beating Los Leonesby three goals to two at San Mamés.
Nacho Fernández is the only injured player in the home squad, while Xabier Etxeita might be fit for the encounter after sustaining a minor knee injury.