Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao: Preview and TV schedule

Denis Doyle

After two straight wins against less than impressive competition, Athletic Bilbao faces their first true test of the season as they travel to face Real Madrid.

Real Madrid continue to settle in under new head coach Carlo Ancelotti, and try not to be distracted by the impending arrival of Gareth Bale, as they host Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabéu.

More from our team blogs: Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid

Neither team has lost yet in the league this season and Athletic Club are actually ahead of Madrid in the table tanks to their two wins versus Madrid win and a draw. Don't get too excited though as the two wins for Ernesto Valverde's team have come against two of three clubs currently residing in the bottom three of the table. This should be an excellent test of just how far Athletic have come early in the season.

Carlo Ancelotti continues to have selection problems in the defensive midfield with Sami Khedria and Asier Illarramendi both not expected to be ready for the match. Isco will likely drop deeper for the second straight match, unless Ancelotti moves Pepe forward and starts Raphael Varane in the central defense.

Real Madrid injuries and suspensions

Out: Xabi Alonso (foot). In Doubt: Sami Khedira (fitness), Asier Illarramendi (fitness)

Athletic BIlbao injuries and suspensions

Out: None.

Madrid will likely be without midfielders Sami Khedira and Asier Illarramendi for a little longer as both have returned to training but likely aren't ready to play just yet.

Projected lineups

Real Madrid: Diego López, Alvaro Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Luka Modrić, Isco, Angel Di Maria, Mesut Òzil, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema.

Athletic Bilbao: Gorka Iraizoz, Iraola, Andoni Iraola, Carlos Gurpegui, Aymeric Laporte, Enric Saborit, Ander Iturraspe, Beñat Etxebarria, Markel Susaeta, Ander Herrera, Iker Muniain, Aritz Aduriz.

Match Date/Time: 6 a.m. local, 12 p.m. ET

Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain

TV: beIN Sport USA (U.S.), Sky Sports 3 (U.K.), Canal+ Liga (Spain)

Online: beIN Sport Play (U.S.)

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