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Real Madrid - Athletic pre-match news: squads, confirmed teams...

Real Madrid take on Athletic Bilbao in week 18 of the LaLiga season at the Bernabéu on Sunday night, with kick-off at 21:00 CET.

Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - December 18, 2019  Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane   REUTERS/Sergio Perez

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Brahim back in Real Madrid squad

Brahim Díaz has been included in Real Madrid's squad for just the fourth time this season, but James Rodríguez has not returned to the matchday group despite overcoming a knee injury and rejoining full training this week.

Álvaro Odriozola and Mariano Díaz have both been left out by Zidane, while Casemiro (suspended), Marcelo (calf strain), Lucas Vázquez (broken toe), Eden Hazard (ankle fracture) and Marco Asensio (torn ACL) are all unavailable to the Madrid boss.

For visitors Athletic Bilbao, Óscar de Marcos (ankle), Aritz Aduriz (hip) and Iker Muniain (hamstring) are all out injured, while head coach Gaizka Garitano is also without the suspended Ander Capa.

See also:

Zidane takes his place on the Real Madrid podium

Benzema faces victims-in-chief Athletic on pace for best goal haul

Modric magic back for Athletic

Lunchtime meet-up for Real squad

Zidane's players met up at 12:30 CET to make their way to their Valdebebas training ground for their final preparations for the week-18 LaLiga clash, which kicks off at 21:00 CET. Meanwhile, Athletic travelled down from Bilbao at lunchtime and will stay at the Hotel Eurostars Suites Mirasierra in the Spanish capital.

Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao: confirmed line-ups

Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Ramos, Mendy, Modric, Kroos, Valverde, Vinicius, Rodrygo, Benzema

Athletic Bilbao: Simón, Yeray, Núñez, I. Martínez, Yuri, D. García, Vesga, Lekur, Williams, R. García, Kodro

Cordero Vega the man in the middle

Adrián Cordero Vega will be the match referee at the Bernabéu, with Antonio Mateu Lahoz appointed as video assistant referee. Cordero Vega has taken charge of Madrid and Athletic once each in LaLiga this season, overseeing Los Blancos' 4-0 win at Eibar in November and Los Leones' 2-0 victory over Granada at the start of December.

Real dominance over Athletic

Andoni Iraola beats Iker Casillas to score Athletic's second goal in a 2-0 win over Real Madrid in February 2005 - the last time the Basques won at the Bernabéu.
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Andoni Iraola beats Iker Casillas to score Athletic's second goal in a 2-0 win over Real Madrid in February 2005 - the last time the Basques won at the Bernabéu.Jesús AguileraDiario AS

Real Madrid not only face Athletic on a run of just one defeat in the sides' last 19 meetings, stretching back to 2010, but have also not lost at home to the Basques in nearly 15 years. Asier del Horno and Andoni Iraola got the goals as a side coached by Ernesto Valverde - in his first spell as Athletic boss - came away from the Bernabéu with a 2-0 win in February 2005. 

How and where to watch Real Madrid vs Athletic Club

You'll find all the information you need on how and where to watch the Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao match right here.


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