MX23RW : Monday, December 16 08:39:21| >> :600:4461923:4461923:
Oct 26, 2019 at 8pm UK at ​Estadio Wanda Metropolitano (Madrid)
Attendance: 59,211
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Athletic Bilbao
Niguez (28'), Morata (64')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Atletico Madrid will be looking to win in La Liga for the first time since the end of September when they host Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night.

A run of three straight draws has seen Diego Simeone's side drop to fifth position, while Bilbao have lost two of their last three to sit eighth in the division.

Match preview

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone pictured on September 14, 2019© Reuters

No team has lost fewer times than Atletico (1) in Spain's top flight this season, but the capital giants have only won four of their nine matches to sit fifth in the table.

Simeone's side flew out of the traps with three straight wins over Getafe, Leganes and Eibar but suffered a 2-0 defeat at Real Sociedad on September 14 and have struggled to show their best form in the league since.

Indeed, they have actually drawn four of their last five in Spain's top flight, the only exception being a 2-0 win at Mallorca on September 25. Since then, the Madrid side have shared the points with Real Madrid, Real Valladolid and Valencia, and goals have been a real issue for the Red and Whites in recent matches.

The likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid have also had their problems this season, though, meaning that Atletico are only three points off the top of the table as things stand. That said, they are only actually three points ahead of 10th, which is an indication of the type of season it has been thus far.

Simeone's side are going well in the Champions League, though, collecting seven points from their three matches to sit second in Group D, and they will enter this match off the back of a 1-0 win over Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday night.

Athletic Bilbao's Aritz Aduriz celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates on August 16, 2019© Reuters

Three wins, four draws and two defeats – that is how Bilbao have performed in La Liga this season, which is not dissimilar to Atletico. Indeed, just three points separate the two teams in the table heading into Saturday's contest.

The Basque outfit recorded a 1-0 victory over Barca on the opening night of the new season before going unbeaten in the league until the end of September, when they suffered a 1-0 loss at home to Valencia.

Gaizka Garitano's side then lost at Celta Vigo one week later, before being held at home by Valladolid last weekend. A run of four without a win has seen them drop down the table, but they would climb a few places should they manage to record a victory at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday night.

The omens are not exactly terrific for Bilbao, though, as they have not won a league game away to Atletico since January 2011, losing the last four in the process.

Atletico have also been incredibly strong at home since moving into their new stadium, with Real Madrid the last team to beat them in a league fixture in front of their own supporters, which occurred at the start of February.

Atletico Madrid form: LDWDDD

Athletic Bilbao form: DWDLLD

Team News

Joao Felix in action for Atletico Madrid on July 31, 2019© Reuters

Atletico remain without the services of long-term absentee Sime Vrsaljko, while Stefan Savic is still unavailable due to muscular a muscular problem.

Simeone's side will also be without Joao Felix as the 19-year-old battles to overcome the ankle issue that he picked up against Valencia last weekend.

Alvaro Morata, Mario Hermoso and Thomas Lemar could all come into the XI following the Leverkusen clash, while energetic midfielder Marcos Llorente is another option for the hosts.

Simeone has a problem at the back, though, with Jose Gimenez picking up a thigh injury in the early stages of the clash with Leverkusen. As a result, Hermoso and Felipe are expected to feature as the two centre-backs.

As for Bilbao, Yuri Berchiche and Ibai Gomez are again expected to miss out with shoulder and groin injuries, but the Basque outfit have no fresh injury concerns from the side that drew with Valladolid at the weekend.

Inaki Williams will again lead the line with support from Iker Muniain and Raul Garcia, while academy product Inigo Cordoba should continue in a wide position.

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup: Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Hermoso, Lodi; Lemar, Koke, Thomas, Saul; Costa, Morata

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup: Simon; Capa, Alvarez, I Martinez, Balenziaga; Lopez, D Garcia; Cordoba, R Garcia, Muniain; Williams

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We say: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Athletic Bilbao

It is difficult to imagine that this will be an open affair full of goals, Atletico are just not that type of team. Simeone's side are so strong at home, though, and we fancy them to record a narrow win in the capital.

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Who will win Saturday's La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao?

Atletico Madrid
Athletic Bilbao
Atletico Madrid
Athletic Bilbao
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Atletico Madrid's Hector Herrera celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates against Juventus on September 18, 2019
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