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Match Preview: Real Madrid look to extend lead with home clash against Athletic Bilbao

Real Madrid will be aiming to further strengthen their grip on top spot in La Liga when they host Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabéu. The Blancos have won their last two league matches, scoring four goals in each, and will be confident of extending their unbeaten home record in the competition, which currently stands at 16 wins and three draws.

This match will be particularly special for Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, as it will be his 900th match in charge of a first-division club. Ancelotti will also be aiming for his 200th victory at the helm of the Madridistas.

Several of Real Madrid’s stars were in fine form during the international break, with Luka Modrić, Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior, and Toni Kroos all scoring or assisting for their respective countries.

Athletic Bilbao, on the other hand, have no European distractions but are still fighting for a Champions League spot next season. They also have the Copa del Rey final against Mallorca to look forward to next weekend.

The Lions have been in good form recently, losing just one of their last 11 matches in all competitions. They will be hoping to end their long wait for a Liga victory at Real Madrid, which stretches back to February 2005.

Athletic Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde has a good record against Real Madrid at the Bernabéu, having won three and drawn one of his last four visits as manager of both Athletic and FC Barcelona.

Key Players to Watch

Brahim Díaz: Díaz scored against Osasuna and two of his last three goals have been the opening goal of the match. Real Madrid have never lost a match in which he has scored (8 wins, 1 draw).

Gorka Guruzeta: Guruzeta is in fine form for Athletic, having scored four times in his last four matches. His last three goals have all come between the 30th and 40th minutes.
Stat of the Match: No team has conceded fewer first-half goals in La Liga this season than Athletic Bilbao’s nine (Real Madrid: 12).

Prediction: Real Madrid are in good form and have a strong home record, so they are the clear favorites for this match. However, Athletic Bilbao are a capable side and will be hoping to cause an upset. I’m going for a 2-1 win for Real Madrid.

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