Real Madrid travel to the Basque Country to face Athletic Club in La Liga on Sunday night.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are the only La Liga side to score goals in every game this season – a run that runs through all competitions into May. By comparison, Athletic have settled for 0-0 draws in two of their last three league matches.
This is the line-up that Ancelotti could use to extend his team’s scoring streak.
GK: Thibaut Courtois – The Belgian goalkeeper has recorded more wins in his career against Athletic (13) than against any other team in his career.
Right back: Dani Carvajal – When he was 12 years old, two years after his time in Real MadridCarvajal was one of the youngsters who laid a symbolic brick during the construction of the Valdebebas training complex he now calls home.
Central defender: Eder Militao – A powerful presence on the pitch yet painfully shy outside the white lines. Militao’s childhood coach Angelo Souza recalls that the centre-back found it “impossible” to score a simple message for his former club after joining Real Madrid. “I’ve tried it four or five times, but I just couldn’t use it!”
Center back: Antonio Rudiger – The only three clean sheets Madrid have kept this season have all been with Rudiger in the starting line-up.
Left back: Ferland Mendy – In spite of Karim BenzemaHeader finesse, Mendy has yet to complete a single open cross into the penalty area this season. With just one help to his name, Mendy hasn’t found many other avenues to channel his creativity (or lack thereof).
Midfielder: Luka Modric – The future captain and all-time appearance maker for the Croatian national team was about six years old when the country was really formed.
Name: Eduardo Camavinga – Amid speculation swirling around the Frenchman’s future, Ancelotti described Camavinga as “untouchable”.
CM: Dani Ceballos – Previous Arsenal The loanee helped turn the tide of Madrid’s escalating cup clash against Villarreal in midweek, coming off the bench to set up Vinicius Junior’s first and then scoring the winner in the 86th minute as Los Blancos came from 2-0 down to win 3-2.
RW: Fede Valverde – Not to be confused with Athletic coach Ernesto Valverde – the Uruguay Real Madrid player has not scored a league goal since mid-October.
Attacker: Karim Benzema – The Ballon d’Or winner has scored more goals against Athletic than any other team in his career (18).
LW: Vinicius Jr – There is no player in La Liga It can match Vinicius’ number of attempts for dribbles, successful insertions or touches into the opponent’s box.