Real Madrid: 5 key players to watch against Athletic Club

Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Fede Valverde
Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid will face Athletic Club on Tuesday night at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. Here are five players to watch.

After clean sheet victories over Sevilla, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid reminded the world that they are still one of the elite teams in Europe. They have been through a lot this season, especially on the injury front, but their recent performances have shown the club’s true fighting spirit and identity.

They will not take their foot off the gas on Tuesday night against Athletic Club, as they will look to pick up a third straight victory at home and fourth straight win overall.

Here are five players to watch on Real.

CM Fede Valverde

Fede Valverde could be the defensive midfielder on Matchday 14 against Athletic Club, as Casemiro has been suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card early in the 2-0 Derbi win.

The young Uruguayan made his return from an injury as a very late substitute for Luka Modric to help see out the clean sheet. Prior to his injury, Valverde was probably the second-best player on Real Madrid after Modric. To this day, Karim Benzema remains the only player on Real with more goals in La Liga than Fede’s three.

El Parajito should have a big say on Tuesday, and he’ll have to help out against Bilbao’s star man Raul Garcia. Valverde’s goal-scoring and quick transitions into the attack could be useful, but his defensive work and competitive nature may be more important against this opponent.