Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
Two teams off to a great start in La Liga will battle when Real Madrid hosts Athletic Bilbao in both sides' third league match of the year.
Real Madrid have wins over Real Betis and Granada as they look to improve upon their second-place finish from last season. They made a number of offseason moves to catch up with Barcelona, and now they must prove their ability on the pitch.
Meanwhile, Athletic Bilbao have matched their upcoming opponent with wins over Real Valladolid and Osasuna to start the year. Of course, things will get much tougher when they face one of the top clubs in Europe.
This will be the first true test for both teams in what is certain to be an entertaining season.
Who will win?
When: Sunday, Sept. 1 at 6 a.m. ET, 11 a.m. BST
Where: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
Watch: beIN Sport
Live Stream: beIN Sport Play
Real Madrid: 77.6 percent
Athletic Bilbao: 9.1 percent
Draw: 13.4 percent
*As of Aug. 30 at 11 p.m. ET courtesy of Bloomberg Sports.
Top Storyline: Will Cristiano Ronaldo Get His First Goal of the Year?
Considering Cristiano Ronaldo has more goals than starts in his four years at Real Madrid, the world-class player has high expectations every time he steps on the pitch.
Therefore, it can be considered a disappointment that the veteran has still yet to score in two La Liga matches despite taking 20 shots in that time. This has not hurt Real in the scoresheet so far, but they will need production out of their star player before too long.
Fortunately, he is facing a club he has done very well against in the past. According to Antonio M. Leal of RealMadrid.com, he has 10 career goals in eight matches against Athletic, one shy of the club record.
A big showing in the match will certainly have fans excited for the upcoming season.
Prediction: Real Madrid 2, Athletic Bilbao 0
Real's offense has not exactly been amazing in the first two contests of the year. Karim Benzema has done well with two goal scored, but Isco has the only other goal for the squad.
The club has been very strong on the attack at creating opportunities, but the finishing has left a lot to be desired. Whether this is due to a lack of focus or simply bad luck, the forwards have to do a better job of placing shots to get them into the back of the net.
On the other side of the pitch, Athletic have some quality scorers like Aritz Aduriz, but they will have a hard time controlling possession in the final third. Opportunities will be tough to come by, and it would be a surprise if they were able to get a single goal in the match.
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