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Ronaldo ready to rally Real Madrid against Bilbao once more

Real Madrid take on Athletic Bilbao boasting nine wins out of the previous 10 matches against them at the Bernabeu. Heavily odds-on at 2/9 for the match, Los Blancos also beat Los Leones 3-1 in the corresponding fixture last season, and have a price of 10/1 for a repeat scoreline.

In that victory, which Real dominated, 22-year-old Spaniard Isco bagged a brace, and he is 4/1 to score anytime against Ernesto Valverde’s side, while Cristiano Ronaldo, who grabbed the other goal, is a 2/1 chance to open the scoring. However, he could face a late fitness test after sustaining a kick to the back of the leg in the Champions League tie against FC Ludogorets, and has been training alone in an attempt to be named in the starting XI.

The Portuguese talisman has netted 10 goals in five appearanes this season in all competitions, as well as chipping in with two assists. The home side were impressive last time out against Villarreal, in a match they won 2-0, with creative Croatian midfielder Luka Modric netting the first goal. He is 16/1 in the same market, should he start against Bilbao, and 6/1 to strike anytime.

For the visitors, who are 11/1 for a win, after being held to a stalemate by newly promoted Eibar last time out, centre forward Artiz Aduriz currently leads their goal scoring charts, with two goals in six appearances in all competitions, and is 7/2 to net anytime. Meanwhile, talented attacker Iker Muniain, who has one league goal to his name this term, will be hoping to alleviate his disappointment at not making the recent Spain squad, by impressing against Carlo Ancelotti’s side. The 21-year-old who hit nine in all competitions last season, is a 6/1 anytime scorer.

Bilbao, who were recently beaten 2-1 by BATE Borisov in the Champions League, know they need to improve on their performance.

Speaking after the loss in Belarus, coach Valverde said: “Previously I wasn’t happy with our displays, but I was okay with our attitude. Now I’m concerned with both.

“We still have chances to progress out of the group, but it’s impossible with a display like this. This is a bad period for us.”