Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao poised for goals
Madrid, Spain (Sports Network) - There are likely to be plenty of goals flying in at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
Real Madrid is set to host Athletic Bilbao at the weekend, and while the home side has become accustomed to scoring at will, Bilbao's defense has proven to be quite leaky so far this term, conceding 21 goals through 11 games, the third-most in La Liga thus far.
If that was not enough evidence, matches between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao have resulted in the most goals in Spanish first division history.
In 81 league games between the two sides, they have combined for 293 goals, almost four goals per match. Real Madrid has produced 200 of those goals.
Real Madrid leads Bilbao by nine points in the La Liga table, but assistant coach Aitor Karanka still expects a tough test.
"They are always a tough opponent, and have a lot of history in La Liga and knowing them as I do, despite having absences they will still be competitive," said Karanka.
Real Madrid holds the edge in the all-time record between the two sides, winning 53 matches against Athletic Bilbao in league play while losing 13 and drawing 15.
Bilbao is in a run of good form having won two straight La Liga matches, and despite the odds being heavily stacked against them, Marcelo Bielsa's men will be sure to have a go against the reigning champions.
Real Madrid continues to chase Barcelona for the La Liga lead, but last season's runners-up do not look like they will be slowing up any time soon. The Catalans have dropped points just once all season (a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid) and they will be playing from the comfort of Camp Nou on Saturday when they host Real Zaragoza.
Also on Saturday, Malaga looks to avoid a third straight defeat when it heads to Estadio El Sadar to face last-place Osasuna and Valencia looks to continue its march up the table when it hosts Espanyol at the Mestalla.
On Sunday, Deportivo welcomes Levante to the Riazor, Celta Vigo hosts Mallorca at the Estadio Municipal de Balaidos, Getafe faces Valladolid at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Atletico Madrid heads to the Los Carmenes to face Granda, and Sevilla squares off against Real Betis at the Los Carmenes.
And in Monday's lone La Liga fixture, Rayo Vallecano goes for its third straight victory when it heads to the Anoeta to face Real Sociedad.