Athletic Club vs Real Madrid Predictions & Match Preview

Athletic Club vs Real Madrid

Athletic Club vs Real Madrid predictions and match preview for Wednesday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for expert analysis, the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as Los Blancos travel to San Mames.

DateWednesday 22nd December 2021
Kick-Off21:30 (local time)
StadiumSan Mames

Athletic Club vs Real Madrid Preview

Athletic Club 2021

Real Madrid travel to San Mames in a big final game before Christmas in LaLiga. The visitors are setting the pace in the Spanish top flight but surprisingly dropped points at the weekend and won’t want a repeat here, although they’ll be well aware that it’s never easy in Bilbao.

Athletic Club aren’t having a great campaign but did finally get a much needed three points at the weekend. In an entertaining clash with high-flying Real Betis, they came from behind to win 3-2 thanks to a brace from Inaki Williams and a late deflected strike from Oscar De Marcos. It was the slice of good fortune that their performances this season have perhaps warranted with their ability to consistently underperform their xG quite remarkable at times.

Another win here would make it a much happier festive period for Marcelino and co. They’d be right back in touch with the battle for European places again and would take momentum into a busy January which sees them in Copa del Rey and Supercopa action. They can take encouragement from having pushed Real Madrid very close in a 1-0 defeat at the Bernabeu in the reverse league fixture only a few weeks ago.

Real Madrid got fortunate that day, as they have done a number of times this season. However they have had one or two games where they’ve failed to make their utter dominance pay and that was the case at the weekend when they were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Cadiz despite having a ridiculous 36 attempts on goal.

Whatever the result, Real Madrid will be firmly in control of the title race heading into 2022 but three points at San Mames would send out another really strong message to their potential rivals. Their chances of getting that aren’t aided by a Covid-19 outbreak in their camp which will limit Carlo Ancelotti’s options in terms of freshening things up, although the Italian boss has largely been reluctant to rotate in any case.

Head to Head

  • Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 1 Athletic Wins, 4 Real Madrid Wins, 1 Draw.
  • Real Madrid have won the last 2 meetings 1-0, including the reverse fixture this season which was only a few weeks ago.
  • There have only been 4 goals in total across the last 4 meetings in Bilbao.
  • Real Madrid have won on 4 of their last 6 league trips to San Mames, losing none.

Team News

Athletic have two big Covid-19 absentees in the form of Unai Simon and Inigo Martinez. Alex Berenguer is also out injured while Dani Vivian is a doubt.

Real Madrid’s Covid-19 outbreak means Modric, Rodrygo, Bale, Marcelo, Isco, Lunin and Asensio are out here. Casemiro is banned while Dani Carvajal remains an injury doubt.

Possible Lineups

Athletic Club vs Real Madrid Predictions

Score Prediction: Athletic Club 1-0 Real Madrid

Real Madrid have been the dominant side in Spain this season but they have rode their luck in some games and they could be really tested here. With no Casemiro due to suspension or Luka Modric due to Covid-19, they will struggle to exert anywhere near as much control in midfield and Athletic might just spring a surprise to make things a little more interesting at the top of LaLiga heading into 2022.

All LaLiga Previews & Predictions

PLEASE NOTE – Our LaLiga predictions are not betting tips. No profits are guaranteed if you’re using them to bet on football. If you are gambling, do so responsibly and never stake more than you can afford to lose. BeGambleAware.

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About Mark Sochon 2072 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has been writing about Spanish football since 2014 and regularly attends and covers matches across Spain. His work has also been published by various newspapers and websites including These Football Times, World Soccer and Guardian Sport. Available for freelance work: marksochon (at)

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