In the opening game of the new La Liga season, Athletic Bilbao will play Real Madrid at the San Mamés Barria Stadium.
- Both teams are playing their first match of the season.
- Last season, Real Madrid scored the most goals in the league.
- The Athletic Bilbao team finished last season in 8th place
Real Madrid could not defend their La Liga title after winning it a season before, finishing second to champions Barcelona. This time around, Carlo Ancelotti's side will contend for the La Liga title. Meanwhile, Athletic Bilbao will strive to reach the top four places and secure a European place.
Athletic Bilbao Form
It was a disappointing result for Athletic Bilbao last season to finish 8th in the Liga. Pre-season has been a mixed bag for them. They lost to Mexican outfit Chaves by 2-0 and then beat another Mexican outfit Necaxa by 0-2. They drew with Racing Santander and lost to Scottish champions Celtic 3-2 to continue their poor form.
Despite these results, they drew two of their pre-season games against future La Liga opponents Eibar and English powerhouse Manchester United.
As the season progresses, Ernesto Valverde will hope to turn the fortunes of the team and continue a positive campaign.
Real Madrid Form
Real Madrid had a mixed pre-season, winning the opening match against AC Milan by 3-2 and then beating Manchester United by 2-0.
Following that, they suffered a run of bad form that included a 3-0 loss to rivals Barcelona in an El Clasico friendly, as well as a 3-1 loss to Juventus in Turin.
However, Carlo Ancelotti understands that pre-season is all about trials, which included different formations and tactical switches, even playing Jude Bellingham as a no. 9.
Despite a mixed preseason, the Los Blancos have started to gel with the new signings. As a replacement for talisman Karim Benzema, Joselu will look to replicate his 16 goals and two assists last year.
In the last 29 meetings between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid, Los Blancos have won twenty, drawn six, and lost three. Among the two sides, Real Madrid had the upper hand.
It will be a great relief for Ernesto Valverde to have all the players available.
There are two injuries at Ios Blancos, namely Arda Guler with an injured meniscus and Ferland Mendy with an injured muscle. Carlo Ancelotti will have all the rest of his team available.
Ernesto Valverde will rely on the dynamic brothers Inaki and Nico Williams. Athletic Bilbao have a good chance of finishing in the top four this season and fighting for a European spot if they maintain the form that saw them called up to the Spanish national team.
To guide the defense correctly, Athletic Bilbao will rely on their experienced player Unai Simons, who had an outstanding campaign for his club and country last season.
As for Real Madrid, Vinicius JR will play a significant role in all competitions this season, having don the legendary no 7.
A high expectation was placed on Joselu to fill the void left by the legendary forward Karim Benzema when he was signed to replace him.
Following a successful year which included a move to Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping Jude Bellingham can take them to the next level. Los Blancos will benefit greatly from his versatility in the squad.
How to Watch on TV or Online
The match will be telecasted on Viaplay Sports 1 and La Liga TV.
A transition period is underway for Real Madrid as they have signed some quality young players, but how the post-Benzema era will unfold remains to be seen. Despite this, Real Madrid should be able to win this match given that their opponents are in a poor run of form. It will be important for both coaches to start the new season on a winning note.