Athletic should approach the quarter-final with a near-clean bill of health, even though Unai Vencedor’s hamstring injury will most certainly keep him out.
After recovering from a bout of coronavirus, Yeray Alvarez, Oihan Sancet, and Oscar de Marcos should all be able to play. Iker Muniain is also expected to play in some capacity.
It remains to be seen whether the skipper can start, but if he isn’t, Nico Williams, 19, will make a strong case for a spot so that he can once again accompany his brother Inaki Williams.
As for Marcelo serving a lengthy Copa del Rey suspension and Ferland Mendy who is out with an adductor ailment, Carlo Ancelotti has been left short in the left-back area for this match.
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Casemiro and Vinicius Junior are unlikely to play for Brazil against Paraguay, even though they have already qualified for the 2022 World Cup. Rodrygo and Federico Valverde are also in the squad.
Marco Asensio has been cleared to play, but Mariano Diaz and Karim Benzema are also unavailable, so Ancelotti may have to rely on Luka Jovic as his focal point.
Athletic Bilbao possible starting XI:
Simon; De Marcos, Alvarez, Martinez, Balenziaga; Berenguer, D. Garcia, Zarraga, Muniain; I. Williams, R. Garcia
Real Madrid possible starting XI:
Lunin; Carvajal, Militao, Nacho, Alaba; Modric, Camavinga, Kroos; Bale, Jovic, Hazard
In all competitions, Real Madrid has won their last four away encounters against Athletic Bilbao.
Athletic Bilbao has won the Copa del Rey 23 times, making them the second most successful team in the competition. In the previous two seasons, they were runner-up.
The Copa del Rey has been won by Real Madrid 19 times. Only Barcelona (31) and Athletic Bilbao (31) have won it more times.
Real Madrid has won two and drawn two of their past six games in all competitions.
Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao have beaten each other in the Copa del Rey on eight occasions in the past (2 draws)