Zinedine Zidane on the touchline, (c) Real Madrid Twitter.

Potential Real Madrid XI for the meeting versus Athletic Bilbao

Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao face off in the 37th matchday of La Liga, as the former look to keep their title hopes alive.

Real Madrid travel to San Mames on Sunday evening for their meeting against Athletic Bilbao in the penultimate matchday of La Liga. Los Blancos have to win against Los Leones to stay alive in the title race and drag it on until next weekend. If Real fail to win, Atletico Madrid will be crowned champions if they see off Osasuna.

Toni Kroos was in contact with a coronavirus patient and hence, has been ruled out of the fixture due to being in quarantine. The German joins Dani Carvajal, Ferland Mendy, Lucas Vazquez, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos among those missing out on the fixture, but Marcelo does return to the squad after being dropped in the previous match.

Thibaut Courtois will retain his place in goal. The writing is on the wall for the former Chelsea goalie, who remains in the race for a second successive Zamora trophy. Amid wholesale absences, Eder Militao and Nacho Fernandez’s formidable partnership in the heart of defence will be put to the test once again, this time against Bilbao.

Casemiro and Luka Modric are serving a tightrope and will be suspended against Villarreal if they are to pick up yellow cards against Athletic Bilbao. However, with the title on the line, they will start as the defensive and left midfielders, respectively. Federico Valverde will complete an unchanged midfield from the Granada match; his energy will be pivotal.

Eden Hazard has come off the bench in each of the last two matches but he may be preferred over Vinicius Junior this time around on the left wing. Karim Benzema will lead the line and there has always been little doubt and justification needed over his selection. Rodrygo is likely to get a start on the right wing and will hope to score for a second match in a row.

Can Real Madrid keep their La Liga hopes in the final match of the season?