Team News: Six changes for Real Madrid

Karim Benzema of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring Real's 2nd goal during the La Liga match against Real Valladolid CF on November 30, 2013
© Getty Images
Real Madrid make six changes to their side to face Athletic Bilbao this evening, while the hosts make three of their own.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has made six changes to his side for tonight's La Liga clash with Athletic Bilbao.

Madrid will be looking to take advantage of Barcelona's defeat to Valencia yesterday, and Ancelotti's selection has reflected that desire to win as he has restored the likes of Karim Benzema, Pepe and Marcelo to the starting XI.

Diego Lopez, Luka Modric and Daniel Carvajal also return to the team after they were left out of the midweek victory over Espanyol in the Copa del Rey.

Iker Casillas, Alvaro Arbeloa, Fabio Coentrao, Nacho, Asier Illarramendi and Isco are the men to make way for Madrid, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Jese Rodriguez remaining up front.

Bilbao, meanwhile, make just three changes to the side who were knocked out of the cup by Atletico Madrid on Wednesday as they aim to close the gap on the top three.

Gorka Iraizoz, Carlos Gurpegi and Oscar de Marcos return to the starting lineup in place of Iago, Andoni Iraola and Mikel San Jose.

Athletic Bilbao: Iraizoz; De Marcos, Gurpegi, Laporte, Balenziaga; Iturraspe, Mikel Rico, Susaeta, Herrera, Muniain; Aduriz
Subs: San Jose, Benat, Kike Sola, Ibai, Iago, Iraola, Ekiza

Real Madrid: Diego López; Pepe, Ramos, Carvajal, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Modric, Di María; Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Jese
Subs: Casillas, Varane, Coentrão, Arbeloa, Morata, Isco, Illarramendi

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Granada CF at Santiago Bernabeu stadium on January 25, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid11003033
2Barcelona11002023
3Real Sociedad11003213
4Leganes11001013
5Valencia11001013
6Atletico MadridAtletico10102201
7GironaGirona10102201
8Espanyol10101101
9Sevilla10101101
10Athletic Bilbao10100001
11Getafe10100001
12EibarEibar00000000
13Levante00000000
14Malaga00000000
15Villarreal00000000
16Celta Vigo100123-10
17AlavesAlaves100101-10
18Las PalmasLas Palmas100101-10
19Real Betis100102-20
20Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo100103-30
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