Los Blancos enjoyed a stellar seven days that saw them beat Sevilla at the Sanchez-Pizjuan, qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League by seeing off Borussia Monchengladbach and halve their gap to Atletico Madrid by winning the Madrid derby.
Athletic came into the tie without a win in three, sitting 13th in La Liga.
Madrid, by contrast, were sitting in third before kick-off, and would go level on points with both Atletico and league leaders Real Sociedad should they secure victory.
Uruguayan midfielder Fede Valverde, returning from injury, came in instead.
The Basque side could go level on points with Barcelona should they emerge victorious from the capital.
The lineups are in for tonight's intriguing clash between Real Madrid and Athletic Club at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano in Madrid. pic.twitter.com/seUMvo1xRe
— footballespana (@footballespana_) December 15, 2020
Featured image courtesy of Goal.