Ancelotti expects tough test

The Primera Division leaders were held to a 1-1 draw by Villarreal at the Bernabeu last Sunday, meaning they finished the weekend just two points ahead of arch rivals Barcelona.

Athletic head into the game in mid-table but buoyed by having reached the Copa del Rey final in midweek, courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Espanyol at the Estadi Cornella-El Prat in the second leg of their semi-final.

“The key factors are intensity and managing to break free from the pressure Athletic exert at home,” Ancelotti told the club’s official website.??

“Winning at San Mames is always difficult. We’ll have to give the maximum effort to get the three points.

“(On Saturday) we need to start well, because it’s going to be a very intense game. Athletic press very well. The players are going to give it a good go.”

Madrid will be without the injured James Rodriguez and Sergio Ramos for the tricky clash, while Luka Modric will also not be risked after recovering from a thigh injury. He could be available for the Champions League tie with??Schalke on Tuesday.