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Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao 2016 live stream: Start time, TV schedule, and how to watch online

Real Madrid can re-claim the top spot in the La Liga table, but it won't be so easy to beat a quietly impressive Athletic Bilbao side.

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Madrid have been steadily impressive of late, with major stars returning to health and form, and several supporting players stepping up in a big way as well. Now they have a chance to reclaim the top spot in the La Liga table thanks to that form, but first they have to beat Athletic Bilbao -- a team that have been quietly impressive in their own right.

Athletic Bilbao started the season with two straight losses, making many think that the Basque club might be doomed to a season of mediocrity. Since then, though, they've been on a roll, winning five of their last six matches in league action to quietly rise up to sixth in La Liga. Their wins haven't been pushovers either -- they took on impressive showings from Valencia and Sevilla and Real Sociedad and put them down with ease, and even when they lost to Barcelona way back in the second week of the season, they gave their gigantic foes a bitter struggle and nearly upset the odds to get a result out of the match.

If they put on that kind of performance again, Athletic could easily get something out of this game if Real don't take it seriously enough. Zinedine Zidane's side certainly has what it takes to handle them with ease, but a string of four-straight draws recently against teams they should have beaten showed that sometimes they don't approach games they should win the right way. If they avoid such mistakes this time, though, they should win almost no matter what happens -- but Athletic will do whatever it takes to figure out what "almost no matter what" doesn't cover to find an advantage of their own.

To watch this match online in the U.S. you can stream it live on beIN Sports Connect. The match won't be shown online in Spain, but for listings in other countries you can check out LiveSoccerTV.

TV: beIN Sports (U.S. - English), beIN Sports en Español (U.S. - Spanish), Movistar+, Canal+ Partidazo (Spain)

Match Date/Time: Sunday, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local

Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain