Athletic vs Real Madrid Jan 16, 2022 Match Preview and Stats

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti will be forced into at least one change for the Spanish Super Cup final against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

During the week, Los Blancos successfully progressed to the final after overcoming Barcelona in an entertaining Clasico fixture.

The 90 minutes ended 2-2, but Madrid won 3-2 in extra time, with Federico Valverde coming off the bench to score the winner.

There won’t be a lot of changes implemented by Ancelotti for the final but he has been forced into one as Dani Carvajal has tested positive for Covid and will need to isolate.

Nacho and Lucas Vazquez are the options to replace him, and the Italian may opt for the latter, with the former continuing centrally.

Thibaut Courtois will start in goal as always, with Vazquez, Eder Militao, Nacho and Ferland Mendy in the back four.

David Alaba missed the semi due to a hamstring issue and the Athletic game will probably come too early for a return.

Even though Valverde scored the winner against Barca, he’ll have to settle for a place on the bench again, with regulars Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro continuing in midfield.

Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior both scored in the semi and have generally been in sensational form so they will, of course, start. There could be a change on the right though, with Rodrygo replacing Marco Asensio.

Gareth Bale and Mariano Diaz didn’t travel to Saudi Arabia due to injury.

Predicted Real Madrid XI v Athletic

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