Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Club predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news, predicted lineups and fantasy football picks as two sides who share iconic red and white stripes meet.
|Saturday 18th September 2021
|16:15 (local time)
Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Club Preview
Athletic Club travel to the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday as two of Spain’s biggest clubs clash. Atletico Madrid have made a solid start to their title defence and three points here would further cement their status as arguably the team to beat in LaLiga this season.
They come into this game following a 0-0 home draw against Porto in midweek in their opening Champions League game. A tough group means they may well have to fight to the very wire just to make the last 16 and that is not ideal from a league point of view. However Atleti do look to have sufficient depth now in most areas to sustain a strong challenge on two fronts.
The Porto game marked the return of Antoine Griezmann to the Wanda Metropolitano. It was a mixed reception for the Frenchman and while many Atleti fans have somewhat reluctantly welcomed him back into the fold, there were a few boos which will presumably die down once he starts scoring goals. More worryingly for Atletico Madrid, Griezmann’s reintroduction appears to have unbalanced this team to some extent and Diego Simeone may opt to leave him out here with Angel Correa perhaps returning to the starting XI.
As for Athletic Club, Marcelino will be very content with their start to the campaign. Two wins and two draws, and only one goal conceded, suggests the foundations are certainly there for them to have a better season this time around. Athletic fans will also be really happy to see one or two younger players featuring more regularly and while it’s perhaps premature to talk of a new golden generation of Basque talent, they will be pleased with most of what they’ve seen from the likes of Dani Vivian and Unai Vencedor.
Last time out though, it was primarily the brilliance of Iker Muniain that made the difference against Mallorca. He completed 7 key passes, more than any other player has managed in a single game in LaLiga this season. He assisted both goals too as Athletic ran out 2-0 winners to inflict a first defeat on the newly promoted team.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 3 Atletico Madrid Wins, 2 Athletic Wins, 1 Draw.
- Atletico Madrid have won their last 6 home games against Athletic.
- Athletic have lost on every previous visit to the Wanda Metropolitano, always conceding twice or more.
- Athletic did win the most recent clash though – by a 2-1 margin in Bilbao in April.
Thomas Lemar is expected to be the only injury absentee for the hosts.
Yuri Berchiche and Peru Nolaskoain continue to be sidelined for Athletic who have a doubt over Oihan Sancet.
Predicted Atletico Madrid Starting Lineup:
Oblak – Hermoso, Gimenez, Savic – Carrasco, Llorente, Koke, De Paul, Trippier – Suarez, Correa (3-5-2)
Predicted Athletic Club Starting Lineup:
Simon – Balenciaga, Martinez, Vivian, Capa – Muniain, Vencedor, D. Garcia, Berenguer – R. Garcia, Williams (4-4-2)
Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Club Predictions
Score Prediction: Atletico Madrid 2-1 Athletic Club
While Athletic have frequently caused problems for Diego Simeone’s side in Bilbao, they’ve a woeful recent record away against Atletico Madrid. They may have some joy in the final third but overall you’d have to fancy Atleti to edge it given the wealth of options they have in midfield and attacking areas.