MX23RW : Tuesday, August 3 00:52:03| >> :120:8310:8310:
Jul 5, 2020 at 1pm UK at San Mames
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
Real MadridReal Madrid

Garcia (39'), Garcia (73'), Muniain (90+5'), Berchiche (90+6')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Ramos (73' pen.)
Ramos (90+2'), Casemiro (90+3'), Carvajal (90+6')

Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid, including team news and predicted lineups.

Real Madrid will be looking to open up a seven-point lead at the top of La Liga when they travel to an in-form Athletic Bilbao on Sunday afternoon.

Los Blancos are currently four points clear of second-placed Barcelona at the summit, while Athletic occupy eighth position, just four points off sixth-placed Getafe in the race for a Europa League spot.

Match preview

Athletic Bilbao's Inaki Williams celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on February 6, 2020© Reuters

Athletic have been in impressive form since returning to action after the lockdown period, winning three, drawing two and losing just one of their six matches in Spain's top flight.

The Basque outfit have won three of their last four in the league, including an impressive 2-0 success at Valencia on Wednesday night, with their only defeat since during the same run coming against Barca.

Gaizka Garitano's side are currently eighth in the table, just four points off sixth-placed Getafe, who appear to be battling Villarreal, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid for two Champions League spots.

Athletic have been impressive on home soil in the league this season, winning nine of their 16 matches, which is a record only bettered by Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barca.

They have not beaten Los Blancos in La Liga since March 2015, although four of the last five meetings between the two sides in Spain's top flight have finished level.

Menacing Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos celebrates on July 2, 2020© Reuters

Madrid, meanwhile, made it six straight league victories courtesy of a 1-0 success over Getafe on Thursday night, with Sergio Ramos coming up with a 79th-minute winner from the penalty spot.

Zinedine Zidane's side have now beaten Eibar, Valencia, Real Sociedad, Mallorca, Espanyol and Getafe since returning to action last month, which has seen them move to the top of the table.

The gap to second-placed Barca is currently four points, but the reigning champions do not face Villarreal until Sunday night, meaning that Madrid will have the chance to open up a seven-point advantage when they take to the field against Athletic on Sunday afternoon.

It is difficult to see where Los Blancos are going to drop points as they face Alaves, Granada, Villarreal and Leganes in their final four matches of the season.

Much of the team's success domestically this term has been built on a strong defence, with Zidane's team conceding just 21 times in their 33 matches, which is comfortably the best record in the division.

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form: DDWLWW

Real Madrid La Liga form: WWWWWW

Team News

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos celebrates with Eden Hazard after scoring on June 14, 2020© Reuters

Athletic will again be without the services of experienced midfielder Benat due to a hip problem, but the home side are otherwise in good shape when it comes to injuries.

There are not expected to be many surprises in the XI that takes to the field, with Inigo Cordoba likely to keep his spot alongside Iker Muniain, Inaki Williams and Raul Garcia in the final third.

Mikel Vesga for Unai Lopez is potentially a change that could occur in the middle of the park, although Garitano is unlikely to make many alterations from the side that impressively won at Valencia.

As for Madrid, key centre-back Raphael Varane is a doubt with a head injury after being forced off against Getafe on Thursday night when he was hit in the face by the ball.

Los Blancos will allegedly not make a final decision on the Frenchman until the morning of the match, although various reports in Spain have suggested that he will be available.

Nacho is still on the sidelines through injury, but Eden Hazard was only rested against Getafe and is likely to return to the starting XI for this match, potentially joining Karim Benzema and Isco in attack.

Zidane also has a decision to make when it comes to his midfield, and there is a chance that Federico Valverde's energy could be preferred to Luka Modric's experience alongside Casemiro and Toni Kroos.

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; Capa, Yeray, Martinez, Yuri; Lopez, D Garcia; Muniain, R Garcia, Cordoba; Williams

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Hazard, Benzema, Isco

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Real Madrid

As mentioned, four of the last five La Liga meetings between these two sides have finished level, while Madrid have not won at San Mames in the league since March 2017. Los Blancos are on a roll at the moment, but Athletic are also in impressive form, and we fancy a low-scoring draw on Sunday night.

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Casemiro celebrates scoring with Real Madrid teammates on June 28, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22251764
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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