Athletic Bilbao full-back Andoni Iraola has admitted that games between Real Madrid and 'Los Leones' are always tense affairs, in anticipation of the upcoming game between the two clubs next Saturday at the Santiago Bernabéu.
"The number of Athletic players who get sent off in the Bernabéu is much higher than normal," said Iraola in a press conference.
"But I'm not blaming the referees for that, you have to look at the issue on a play by play basis. I have no doubt the referee will go out and do a good job during the game. For the good of everyone, the footballers and the referee, I hope there's no trouble."
Iraola rejected suggestions that Real Madrid would go into the game at a disadvantage because so many of their players will be tired after returning from international duty.
"I'm sure Madrid will play their best players and will play as well as usual. I don't think we have an advantage over them because some of their best players haven't gone on off with their national sides, and four of our players will be returning from internationals too."
The defender also said he was wary that Madrid are a team that can still get results even when they are not at their best.
"They can still beat you even without playing well. They didn't play well against Zaragoza and they still took the three points. They are one of those teams that will punish you for even the smallest error you make, and you have to always be focused and make sure that if they score a goal, it is because they deserved to, and not because you have made a mistake.
"We'll try to prevent them from playing their game. If we could beat them it would be a huge confidence boost for us, because of how hard it is to beat them and because of the records they have broken on the pitch in the last few years."