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Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao 2-0 as at happened?

Real Madrid will be aiming to return to winning ways in La Liga when they travel to San Mames on Sunday evening to take on Athletic Bilbao.

Los Blancos suffered a 2-1 loss to Villarreal in their last league match on January 7, while Athletic were beaten 3-1 by Real Sociedad in their last top-flight contest on January 14.

Athletic managed to progress to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday evening courtesy of a 1-0 success over Espanyol, with Oscar de Marcos scoring the only goal of the match in the 27th minute, and they will take on Valencia in the next round.

The Basque outfit are on a disappointing run of form in the league, though, winning just one of their last five in Spain’s top flight, which has seen them drop down the table into eighth position.

The Lions suffered a 3-1 loss to rivals Real Sociedad last weekend, with their last win in La Liga coming at home to Real Valladolid on November 8.

Ernesto Valverde’s side are only two points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, though, so they are very much in the mix for a top-four spot at this stage of the campaign.

Athletic have finished 11th, 10th and eighth in their last three seasons, but the team will certainly be eyeing a European finish this term.

Valverde’s team have been strong at home this season, picking up 17 points from nine league games at San Mames, but they will be welcoming a Real Madrid side with the second-strongest away record, claiming 21 points from their nine matches on their travels.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, will enter this match off the back of a brilliant comeback win over Villarreal in the last-16 stage of the Copa del Rey on Thursday night.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side recovered from a two-goal deficit to triumph late on and set up a quarter-final with Atletico Madrid, and it was the perfect response to their 3-1 loss to Barcelona in the final of the Spanish Super Cup last weekend.

Real Madrid’s last league game was the 2-1 loss at Villarreal on January 7, and they are currently second in the table, three points clear of leaders Barcelona, who would go six clear with a win over Getafe on Sunday.

It is difficult to be too critical of Los Blancos considering that they have taken 38 points from 16 league games this season, but they have two tough fixtures to end the month, following this contest with a home match against a very impressive Real Sociedad outfit.

Real Madrid have actually won each of their last five league games against Athletic, while they have not lost to the Basque outfit in Spain’s top flight since March 2015.

This will be another huge test for Los Blancos, who have not been able to find their best form since returning to action following the 2022 World Cup.

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