The 11-time winners and holders Real Madrid begin their defense of the Spanish Supercup against one of the two teams due to contest the much-delayed Copa Del Rey final as Athletic Bilbao face them in Malaga.
Bilbao might have lost 3-1 on the last occasion these two clubs met but they gave an impressive account when down to 10 men at the Santiago Bernabeu, holding on to a point until Karim Benzema broke their resistance in the 74th minute. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know.
- Date: Thursday, Jan. 14
- Time: 3 p.m. ET
- Location: La Rosaleda Stadium -- Malaga, Spain
- TV: ESPN Deportes
- Live stream: Fubo TV (try for free)
- Odds: Real Madrid -150; Draw +270; Athletic Bilbao +450 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Real Madrid: On his full return to the starting line-up following eighth injury absence of his one-and-a-half season stint with Real Madrid Eden Hazard once more left supporters and pundits far from impressed as he and his team-mates laboured to a 0-0 draw in Osasuna. The clock is ticking for the 30-year-old to get back to something approaching the quality he showed in a Chelsea shirt and a revival of sorts in the Spanish Super Cup might at least give the Belgian momentum heading into the second half of his second season.
Against Osasuna he did not create a single chance nor take a shot at goal and was described as "cold and anonymous" by leading Spanish sports newspaper Marca. Those assessments will grow all the more cutting if he is unable to recover his form soon.
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Athletic Bilbao: Chasing their first win under Marcelino, the watchword for Bilbao's season so far has been inconsistency. For a side that sacked their manager to have only once lost more than one La Liga game in a row seems remarkable but equally there have only been two occasions in domestic league matches where they have gone two straight fixtures without defeat.
There were signs of progress in a 3-2 defeat to Barcelona where Inaki Williams scored early and Iker Muniain late, after which their new manager pronounced himself impressed with the quality of talent at his disposal. "I have found a better squad than what I expected," Marcelino said. "They have an enormous appetite and are very receptive to the work. It's an extraordinary group.
"I have to give them my thanks. We're working to make the team more competitive, but we don't have a lot of time to work on concepts right now."
Unbeaten since December 1 there is real momentum behind Madrid's season and that should be enough to take them past Athletic. PICK: Real Madrid (-150)