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La Liga: Ronaldo close to Raul record as Real Madrid visit Athletic Bilbao

Cristiano Ronaldo will only have one thing in mind as Real Madrid make the trip to Basque country for the clash with Athletic Bilbao.

The Portuguese superstar is just two goals off equaling Raul’s all-time Real Madrid scoring record on 321 goals, achieving this in 305 games so far. This is already an accomplishment in itself with the Spain legend’s strikes coming in 741 Los Blancos appearances.

Rafa Benitez’s side are heavily odds-on at 6/10 with Coral to come away from the San Mames with three points and should Ronaldo hit a hat-trick, which he has odds of 16/1 to do, he will surpass the record currently set by Raul.

Speaking prior to the Bilbao clash, Benitez has said that the club only have one guaranteed starter for every match. Guess who?

“There is one undisputed player, and that’s Cristiano,” Benitez said. “And then there are others who have to give their best, and we assess who is well and who is not. If we think a player is good, we’ll use him.

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“Every player depends on his characteristics and on how he manages certain matches.

“I’ve not thought of favouring a player at any point over the team. The players know that Cristiano scores 50 goals a season. He makes the difference.”

Last season though, this fixture finished 1-0 to the hosts, with the prolific Artiz Aduriz scoring, who has netted five goals in his last three matches, including his side’s 3-1 defeat to Villarreal last time out. The striker has decent 2/1 anytime odds and is definitely worth a punt. Raul Garcia is also worth backing at 3/1 in the anytime market.

Real, meanwhile, have had a nearly faultless start to the season under new coach Benitez, and following a draw to Sporting Gijon on the opening day they have recorded consecutive wins. In their last away win, Ronaldo hit five goals in a 6-0 thrashing of Espanyol.

Previously, Real were 1-0 winners over Granada, with Karim Benzema striking the decisive goal. Having found the net in every league win this term, he is 4/1 to break the deadlock.

Last season the Frenchman bagged a brace as Real beat Bilbao at home, with Ronaldo hitting a hat-trick as the side, then managed by Carlo Ancelotti secured a 5-0 victory.

Coral’s top tip: Ronaldo to score a hat-trick @ 16/1 with Coral