Atletico MadridLa LigaVS
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Eighth-placed Athletic Bilbao take on fourth-placed Atletico Madrid in La Liga action on Saturday night. With five games remaining, the hosts’ chances of securing European football for next season look unlikely, whereas Diego Simeone’s men will be looking to solidify their current position in a Champions League qualification spot.
Continue reading for our match preview and expert football betting tips for the clash.
Neither of the two sides come into this game with any significant momentum. Both have been a tad patchy over the last month, so it’s hard to have too much confidence in backing any of them in the match result market.
Therefore, it looks wise to look elsewhere and delve into the both teams to score market. Bilbao have scored at least once in seven of their last eight league games at home. The same can be said for seven of Atletico’s last eight away matches in La Liga too. Four of the last five meetings between the pair have also seen both teams register.
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Los Leones have already bested their points total from last season, but it’s looking like another campaign without securing any European football.
They’ve been solid enough across the season, but a slight lack of consistency, along with a struggle to convert a few more draws into wins, has left them around the mid-table mark.
Marcelino’s side are somewhat limping to the La Liga finish line with two wins in their last six league outings, but they did pick up all three points in a 3-2 success over Cadiz last week.
It’s been a disappointing La Liga title defence from Atletico Madrid, and overall a below-par season from Diego Simeone’s men.
Second place is still firmly in their sights, but regardless of how well they do from now until the end of the campaign, they’ll still likely finish a good distance from city rivals Real Madrid.
They have been struggling slightly on the goals front of late, with blanks in four of their last five across all competitions (two of them games being against Manchester City in the Champions League).
Los Colchoneros have won three of their last four games on the road domestically, though, and they’ll be aiming for a victory here to try and give them some breathing space between themselves and the top-four-chasing pack.
Atletico have the edge when it comes to the overall head-to-head record between the sides. They have 32 wins compared to Bilbao’s 16, across their 57 total meetings.
They’ve met twice already this season, with Bilbao winning their Super Cup encounter 2-1, and the points being shared in a 0-0 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
San Mames Stadium is a relatively new ground, having been built in 2013. It replaced Athletic Bilbao’s old stadium of the same name and was built on land adjacent to it. Additionally, it has a capacity of 53,331, making it the seventh largest ground in Spain.
Some of its main features include a roof to protect supporters from Bilbao's frequently rainy conditions, and an impressive lighting system on the stadium’s exterior.
Both teams still have something to play for at this stage of the season, but Bilbao’s European qualification hopes are fading. They’ll realistically need a win here to keep any hopes alive.
Unless they suffer a drastic loss of form, Atletico look on course to secure Champions League qualification. There’s a four-point gap between them and fifth place currently, so Simeone will want his men focused on getting the job done and keeping the team’s points total ticking over.