Real Madrid will face Athletic Club on Wednesday night at San Mames. The last time these two teams played, Los Blancos needed a Man of the Match performance from Thibaut Courtois to rescue them in a 1-0 win over the Lions at the Santiago Bernabeu.
This time, Real must play without a couple of important players. Luka Modric, Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale, and Rodrygo Goes all missed the match against Cadiz with positive COVID-19 tests. And now Casemiro is suspended against the Lions after picking up a fifth yellow card in the 0-0 draw with Cadiz on what can only be described as a horrendous tackle.
Let’s take a look at the predicted lineup for Real Madrid at San Mames, assuming the Merengue club will be without the players who tested positive for COVID-19. We will update the piece if more information comes to light and any of these players will be able to play in the Basque country.
GK Thibaut Courtois
The best in the world. Thibaut Courtois is a guaranteed starter, and I don’t need to waste time explaining why he will start. Though I will add that Andriy Lunin was also among the players to test positive for COVID-19.
LB Ferland Mendy
Ferland Mendy will need to step up his game on the offensive end against Athletic Club, as he did not put his best foot forward in the attack on Sunday vs. Cadiz.
CB David Alaba
The No. 4 has become one of Real Madrid’s most important players. David Alaba’s fiery personality and leadership will be important at San Mames, which is one of the most intimidating venues in the world. Yes, the world. Athletic Bilbao players certainly drink their whole milk every morning, so to speak. They are tough as hell, and Alaba will need to be ready to set the tone against them in the Lion’s Den.
CB Eder Militao
Eder Militao is having a hell of a 2021-2022 campaign at the heart of the Real Madrid defense. He is vindicating Juni Calafat’s decision to sign him over Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt. Militao shuts down everyone he comes across, and he looks headed for another epic battle with Inaki Williams, who admittedly gave Real fits the last time these two teams played. But Militao, historically, has never showed any nerves at San Mames.
RB Dani Carvajal
Although Dani Carvajal missed the weekend clash with Cadiz due to a possible muscular overload, the star right back should be back for the final match of the year. There will be a break after this match. And maybe more importantly, Real Madrid NEED the Spaniard at right back. Lucas Vazquez dropped a disasterclass of a first half on Sunday.