Predicted XI

Casemiro suspended - How Real Madrid could line-up against Athletic Bilbao

The Brazilian picked up a booking in the Madrid derby against Atletico on Saturday which Los Blancos won 2-0

9:40am on Monday 14th December 2020
Martin Macdonald

Zinedine Zidane will be without the services of Casemiro for this week's La Liga clash versus Athletic Bilbao, with the midfielder having collected his fifth booking of the season against Atletico Madrid.

Zidane had been under increasing pressure as Real Madrid boss due to their league and European form, but has came through a vital week unscathed as Los Blancos have won three in a row versus Sevilla, Gladbach, and now Atletico.

Casemiro actually got on the scoresheet against Atletico, so will be disappointed at having to sit out the midweek game versus Athletic.

Fede Valverde made his return from injury in the Madrid derby, coming on for a two-minute cameo at the end of the game, so he'll likely be the man to come into midfield to replace Casemiro in the starting XI alongside Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

Dani Carvajal also returned from injury and is in line to start again at right-back, but Zidane could opt for some rotation here and give a start to Lucas Vazquez, who has impressed in his deputising role in defence.

The Spaniard started the Madrid derby on the right wing, but with Carvajal having just returned it might be too much to ask to play twice in four days, so Vazquez could drop deeper.

Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, and Ferland Mendy will likely complete the back four.

Karim Benzema will start up top as always, potentially flanked by Marco Asensio and Vinicius Junior.

Eden Hazard, Luka Kovic, Martin Odegaard, and Mariano Dia all trained away from the group in the latest session and will likely miss out this one against the Basque outfit.

Real Madrid starting XI versus Athletic Bilbao

Real Madrid - Football tactics and formations

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