Real Madrid travel to Bilbao on Wednesday evening for their next La Liga clash against Athletic in an attempt to increase their lead at the top of the table. Carlo Ancelotti’s men will be confident after winning seven in a row, while Marcelino’s side is on an eight-games run without a victory.
Where and when: San Mames Barria – 22 December, kick-off 20:30
Where you can see Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Madrid: Premier Sports
Last time: Karim Benzema’s strike made the difference as Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 at Santiago Bernabeu at the start of December.
Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid Predictions and Preview
Real Madrid’s eight points lead ahead of second-placed Sevilla at the top of La Liga table is already formidable, but Los Blancos will be looking to make the decisive step towards the title on Wednesday when they face Athletic Bilbao at San Mames. Sevilla are about to face defending champions Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in one week, which means that if Real win against Marcelino’s men they would most likely be impossible to catch.
The last time Real Madrid faced Athletic was only a few weeks ago, when Real earned a hard-fought 1-0 win at Santiago Bernabeu. Los Blanos continued their impressive streak afterwards with 2-0 victories away to Real Sociedad and at home against Atletico Madrid.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men seem impossible to stop at the moment, as Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema have been on fire all season, while the midfield trio of Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric is continuing to dominate pretty much every opposition.
However, the Italian tactician will be forced to shuffle his cards this time as Modric, Rodrygo, Marco Asensio, Marcelo, Gareth Bale and Andriy Lunin are all with Covid. This means that Eduardo Camavinga might get a rare start, while Lucas Vazquez might start up front.
Athletic, meanwhile, have been in an extremely poor form as of late as Marelino’s side failed to win each of their last eight games, suffering three defeats in the process. The Basque outfit were beaten 1-0 by Sevilla at San Mames last week in what was another poor display.
The problems lie in attack, as Athletic have only scored 13 goals after 17 La Liga games – the joint-second worst record in the league. Yet, despite this Marcelino’s men are somehow still in 11th place, but this can change quickly, if they don’t improve rapidly in front of goal.
A game against Real Madrid is hardly the ideal chance for that, so it’s no surprise that the hosts are 23/10 underdogs before the clash on Wednesday. The draw is available at 12/5, but despite the Covid outburst in the team the visitors remain firm 5/4 favourites in this Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid preview.
One to watch for Athletic Bilbao: Inaki Williams needs to step up, as Athletic Bilbao have lacked a consistent goalscorer. The Spanish striker only has three La Liga goals to his name so far and will be eager to improve his tally, so keep an eye on him in the first scorer market in this Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid preview.
One to watch for Real Madrid: Karim Benzema’s 13 strikes mean that the Frenchman is currently topping the La Liga goalscoring chart. The Frenchman scored the only goal, as Real Madrid beat Athletic 1-0 at the start of December, so watch out for him to break the deadlock on Wednesday as well.
Long shot: Three of the last five meetings between those teams, including their most recent one, ended in 1-0 victories for Real Madrid. A repeat of that score on Tuesdayis available at 15/2 while the odds raise further if you add Benzema as the first scorer.