CONFIRMED lineups: Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid, 2017 La Liga

Isco Real Madrid Barcelona

The Live score and match update of this match is available now at the Athletic Bibao and Real Madrid's official Twitter pages.

Real Madrid vice-captain Marcelo hailed his teammate Casemiro as "one of the best midfielders in the world" after his fellow Brazilian hit a crucial victor in Saturday afternoon's 2-1 La Liga win at Athletic Bilbao.

But Casemiro proved Madrid's unlikely hero just three minutes later, tapping in from close range after being left unmarked at a corner to secure Madrid's 13th win in 15 league meetings with the Basque side.

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Madrid stopper Keylor Navas then produced a fine save to deny Inaki Williams, but his team-mate Aritz Aduriz was not to be denied and he levelled things with a powerful strike after Raul Garcia's knockdown.

Sergio Ramos came to their rescue in Sunday's laboured 2-1 win over Real Betis with an 81st minute victor, while Alvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo scored late against Villarreal and Las Palmas, salvaging a 3-2 win and 3-3 draw respectively. "He is a kid who works a lot". I think the players know that. "He's got to be one of the best central midfielders in the world".

The result put Madrid five points clear of second-placed Barcelona in the table, and ensures that Zidane's team will be top during the coming worldwide break, regardless of what happens when Valencia visit the Camp Nou on Sunday evening.

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Futures indicate that Japanese stocks are set to weaken as the yen strengthens ahead of a Bank of Japan policy decision Thursday. Aided by stronger oil, Wall Street was cautiously firmer around mid-session in NY , with the Dow edging up around 0.3 per cent.

"It is what it is, we suffered at times, but we played well, we knew it was always complicated here, but we did what we had to do". And what's left in this season, it's going to be very important because everything is going to be decided now after the global break.

"It was important to pick up points and continue our good run". "We are in the final stretch in La Liga". We knew that picking up points here would be very hard. We know that there are more hard matches to come. "We knew what we had to do, what the boss asked of us, and we came out with the victory". "We're working well, we have confidence and personality and we have to put all the ingredients to win the game", Zidane finished.

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC.

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