Real Madrid with three absences against Bilbao in the first match of the 2023/24 season

Real Madrid will be without three players for their La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao this weekend due to injury.

The game is expected to see the likes of Jude Bellingham and Fran Garcia make their debuts for the club, while Joselu Mato and Brahim Diaz could also make their first appearances since returning.

However, Arda Guler will not make his debut. The Turkish star is still recovering from a meniscus problem that is expected to keep him out for most of August.

The prognosis is similar for Ferland Mendy and Dani Ceballos, who both have muscle problems themselves.

According to Marca, they were the only three absent from training on Monday as they prepare for their trip to Bilbao.

Meanwhile, Ernesto Valverde hopes to have a fully prepared squad by Saturday, where Inigo Ruiz de Galarreta could also make his debut. There are doubts over several key members of the squad such as Yeray Alvarez, Dani Garcia and Yuri Berchiche. All three have minor injuries and missed their 1-1 friendly draw with Manchester United at the weekend.

What is not in doubt is that it will certainly be a glamorous occasion and an electrifying atmosphere.