With three wins from three, Real Madrid visit Bilbao’s San Memes stadium today needing to secure a win to keep their 100-percent record intact and avoid a slip up in the early title race that has emerged with Barcelona. Both are equal on nine points (the only two clubs to have managed three from three) and just two goals separate them on goal difference, with Ernesto Valverde’s side on top having scored 12 and conceded two.
Just 80 kilometers away from Bilbao, Barcelona also have a difficult away fixture at Real Sociedad starts four and half hours before Athletic and Madrid, meaning Julen Lopetegui’s men will at least now what they have to do.
Bale, Benzema and Asensio
It remains to be seen if Lopetegui will be decide to rest some regular starters who come back from international duty, although he will no doubt be tempted start the new regular trio of Bale, Benzema and Asensio (‘BBA’) up front.
Benzema, who has been left out of the French team since the Valbuena controversy, has trained all week with Lopetegui and will be fresh going into the game.
Asensio played 112 minutes for Spain in their two Uefa Nations League fixtures against England and Croatia. Following his incredible performance against World Cup finalists Croatia, Lopetegui may want to take advantage of the moment and start a player in form and brimming with confidence. Bale, meanwhile, travels to Bilbao after having played 180 minutes of Wales’ two games against Ireland (in which he scored and gave an assist) and Denmark.
Poor record at San Memes
If Lopetegui starts ‘BBA’ up front, he will do so in a stadium in which only Benzema has managed to score between the three of them: the Frenchman has played eight games at La Catedral, scoring on three occasions; Bale has played two games (one victory and one defeat) in which he failed two score; Asensio has only lined out at the San Memes once while on loan at Espanyol in 2015-2016, a game which ended 2-1 to Athletic.