Athletic Club vs Real Sociedad match preview and predictions for Thursday’s LaLiga match. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as these old Basque rivals meet again.
- DATE: Thursday 31st December 2020
- KICK-OFF: 14:00 (local time)
- VENUE: San Mames
- COMPETITION: LaLiga
Athletic Club vs Real Sociedad Preview
LaLiga bows out for 2020 with a Basque derby double header on New Year’s Eve. The first sees the Basque Country’s two biggest clubs meet at San Mames as Athletic Club play host to Real Sociedad. The two sides haven’t met in almost 11 months, although they do still have a Copa del Rey Final to look forward to against one another.
That match is now penned in for the spring and there’s a chance for both sides to land a small psychological blow here. Athletic Club will certainly want to show they are a match for their rivals who have enjoyed a strong campaign so far. Gaizka Garitano’s side by comparison are languishing in mid-table but they’ve been reasonably strong at home.
Only 6 of Athletic’s 15 matches in LaLiga have been at San Mames which does suggest they may be able to climb this table once that evens up. 4 of Athletic’s 5 wins so far have come at San Mames and they will take some confidence from their last two matches overall – a home win against Huesca followed by a good point on the road at Villarreal.
Real Sociedad have by comparison are having a much better season overall but their form has taken a real turn for the worse over the past month or so. La Real have lost their last three league games and have gone 9 without a victory in all competitions since triumphing 1-0 at Cadiz in November.
They have suffered from having to play two games per week for virtually the entire campaign and that has really started to take its toll with injuries mounting heading into the festive period. Imanol’s side though have benefited from a much needed 9 day break heading into this game which should have given them a chance to recharge their batteries and get key men Mikel Oyarzabal and David Silva fully fit again.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 1 Athletic Win, 4 Real Sociedad Wins, 1 Draw.
- Both meetings last season ended in home wins.
- La Real have won 3 of the last 4 league meetings including a 3-1 win at San Mames in 2018.
- The last 5 meetings in Bilbao have produced 2 wins each and a draw.
Alex Berenguer and Asier Villalibre are expected to be fit for Athletic.
Mikel Oyarzabal and David Silva are set to be fit for the visitors with Adnan Januzaj their most notable absentee.
Predicted Athletic Starting Lineup:
Simon – Martinez, Yeray, Nunez – Yuri, Vesga, Vencedor, De Marcos – Berenguer, Williams, Muniain (3-4-3)
Predicted Real Sociedad Starting Lineup:
Remiro – Monreal, Le Normand, Elustondo, Gorosabel – Merino, Zubeldia, Silva – Oyarzabal, Willian Jose, Portu (4-3-3)
Athletic Club vs Real Sociedad Predictions
Score Prediction: Athletic Club 1-2 Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad desperately needed a break and having had over a week off will certainly have benefited them more than Athletic. La Real ought to be able to name their strongest XI here, a luxury Imanol has rarely had in recent weeks and they have shown many times this season that they are a really strong side, deserving of their status near the top of this league. Without that passionate home support, which can make all the difference in a derby, Athletic may struggle to exert much authority on this game and we may just see the visitors stop the rot with three points.
Athletic Club vs Real Sociedad Betting Tips (18+)
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