Athletic Club vs Real Madrid predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups as two of the giants of Spanish football meet in Bilbao.
|Sunday 22nd January 2023
Athletic Club vs Real Madrid Preview
Real Madrid travel to Bilbao this weekend for a showdown with Athletic Club at San Mames. Neither team has played as well as they’d have liked since the World Cup but victory for either here would be a chance to really launch the second half of their respective seasons.
Both have big Cup Quarter Finals to look forward to this coming week as well but neither will be looking beyond this game with Athletic hoping for their first league win since the break. Back-to-back goalless draws were followed up by a 3-1 defeat in the Basque derby in Donostia last weekend and Ernesto Valverde’s side don’t look fully convincing right now.
The somewhat mysterious absence of Iker Muniain has continued with Athletic’s most creative player not even rotating in for the 1-0 Copa del Rey triumph over Espanyol in midweek. Given the quality of the opposition here, it’s likely Valverde will opt for a more combative midfield again. His main concern will be in central defence though with Yeray suspended and Inigo Martinez still carrying an injury which could rule him out once more.
Karim Benzema and co will be hoping to exploit that potential weakness although Real Madrid have their own defensive issues to worry about. They had Thibaut Courtois to thank for keeping the score down to only 3-1 in the Supercopa Final last weekend and while that competition may not have been a priority, it was still a concern for Madridistas to see their side outplayed by their great rivals.
They were poor again in the 1st Half of their Copa del Rey tie at Villarreal in midweek, trailing 2-0 at the break. However a team that was defined by their great comeback wins last season, showed they haven’t completely lost the knack with Vini Junior, Eder Militao and Dani Ceballos scoring after the break to seal a 3-2 win at the Ceramica. They should head north with a bit of a spring in their step on the back of that win.
Team News & Possible Lineups
Possible XI: Simon – Yuri, Vivian, Paredes, De Marcos – Vesga, Sancet, Dani Garcia – N. Williams, Guruzeta, I. Williams (4-3-3)
Coach: Ernesto Valverde
|Vazquez, Alaba, Tchouaméni
Possible XI: Courtois – Mendy, Rudiger, Militao, Carvajal – Kroos, Camavinga, Modric – Vini, Benzema, Valverde (4-3-3)
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti
Score Prediction: Athletic Club 1-2 Real Madrid
Athletic’s central defensive issues with their first choice centre-backs both likely missing here could tilt this game in Real Madrid’s favour. Karim Benzema has not been at his blistering best this season but this could be the stage for him to show his class once more although Athletic will surely make a good game of it.
PLEASE NOTE – Our LaLiga predictions are not betting tips! No profits are guaranteed if you’re using them to bet on Spanish football. If you are gambling, do so responsibly and never stake more than you can afford to lose. BeGambleAware.