Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid predictions, H2H and match preview for this Sunday’s game in LaLiga. Read on for analysis, free betting tips and predicted line-ups as Los Blancos face a tough trip to San Mames.
by Mark Sochon (@marksoc1)
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid Preview
Sunday is a very significant day in the title race with Real Madrid and Barcelona both faced with difficult away games. In a slight shift from previous matchdays, it’s Los Blancos who play first this time and victory at San Mames would temporarily at least give them a 7 point advantage at the top and it would be almost impossible to see Barcelona coming back from such a deficit.
Real Madrid also have to host in-form Villarreal but this has to be viewed as their toughest remaining fixture and the most likely place in which they are going to drop points. With such strength in depth, Zinedine Zidane has managed his squad well as Real Madrid have reeled off 6 straight wins since the restart. While they have benefited from some controversial refereeing decisions, there can be no doubt that they have been the best team in Spain since the resumption with just two goals conceded and some moments of real quality in the final third the difference in tight games.
Athletic Club have also found form since the season got up and running again. They come into this game following back-to-back wins including a vital 2-0 victory at Valencia which has propelled them back into serious Europa League qualification contention. Having agreed to postpone their cup final, thus allowing an extra European slot to go to the league, it’s perhaps fitting that it looks like it may be a battle between Copa del Rey Finalists Athletic Club and Real Sociedad for 7th.
The absence of fans, clearly makes this a simpler task for Real Madrid than it otherwise would have been. It’s always a hostile welcome for Los Blancos in Bilbao but this Athletic team is quite capable of making it difficult for Madrid even without 50,000 fans behind them.
In terms of team news, we should see some light rotation from the hosts with Unai Nunez and Mikel Vesga potentially coming in while the visitors are boosted by the return to fitness of Eden Hazard who should start alongside Karim Benzema in attack.
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid Predictions
Score Prediction: 1-1 Draw
Real Madrid’s 100% record since the restart is in danger of going here. This is actually a battle between the top two in the form table for the past 8 games and Athletic aren’t easy to break down which suggests Zidane’s side may struggle to score more than once here – having only managed 1-0 wins in their last two outings. Athletic will fancy they can nick a goal though with Raul Garcia in good goalscoring form while Inaki Williams is always a handful.
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Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid H2H
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 2 Real Madrid Wins, 4 Draws.
- The sides drew 0-0 in Madrid in December.
- Real Madrid are unbeaten in 9 games against Athletic.
- Athletic last beat Los Blancos in March 2015 – 1-0 at San Mames.
Predicted Line Ups
Simon – Yuri, Martinez, Yeray, Capa – Vesga, Garcia – Cordoba, Sancet, Garcia – Williams (4-2-3-1)
Real Madrid Team:
Courtois – Marcelo, Ramos, Militao, Carvajal – Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos – Vinicius, Benzema, Hazard (4-3-3)