NEWS
Saturday March 18 2017
Preview: Athletic-Madrid

Zinedine Zidane has urged Real Madrid to be wary of Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Saturday but insisted that his side will attack at San Mames.

Athletic have not lost at home since the opening day of the season, when they were beaten 1-0 by Barcelona, prompting Zidane to acknowledge the fortress awaiting Madrid, although the Coach made it clear his players were ready to emulate their “perfect” end to last season.

“Athletic? The only team who they’ve lost at home against was Barca,” he said at a Press conference.

“We know it’ll be harder than normal and we know it’s a difficult place to play, but we’re going to try to score and have a great game.

“BBC in a 4-3-3? You’ll see [on Saturday]. We’ll be under pressure until the end of the season, but if we can repeat how we ended last season then that’d be perfect.

“We’re relying on ourselves, but we know there’s still a long way to go and we’ll take things game by game. It’s the best thing we can do.

“I’m happy with how things have gone up until now. We can still improve, that’s clear, but we’re not doing anything wrong, our results are good.

“What’s left of the season is going to be very important because it’s going to decide everything.

“The month of April is going to be huge for us, but we have a group and squad that are capable of doing good things.

“I’m happy because now comes the most beautiful part of the season, where things are decided. The players know this and are focused on their objectives.

“Trips to San Mames and Balaidos? I don’t know if they’re worth the League [title], but each game poses three very important points.

“Both teams will defend equally well and we know that we’re going to suffer, but we’re working well, we have confidence and character, and we have to put in all these ingredients to win.

“Varane? He’s on a normal path of recovery, he didn’t travel because he wasn’t 100 percent.”

Athletic Bilbao (probable): Kepa; De Marcos, Yeray, Laporte, Balenziaga; Iturraspe, Benat; Williams, Raul Garcia, Muniain; Aduriz

Injuries/suspensions: Sabin (I), Remiro (I), San Jose (S)

Real Madrid (probable): Keylor; Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo

Injuries/suspensions: Varane (I)

Referee: Jaime Latre

Form guide: Madrid (W W D W L) Athletic (W W L W L)

Previous meeting: Madrid 2-1 Athletic

Kick-off time: 15:15 GMT/16:15 CET (LIVE on Football Espana!)

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