MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 16:59:57| >> :120:77413:77413:
Apr 25, 2021 at 8pm UK at San Mames
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
2-1
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Berenguer (8'), Martinez (86')
Sancet (44'), Vencedor (61'), Garcia (66'), Lopez (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Savic (77')
Llorente (11'), Torreira (81')

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

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

Atletico Madrid will be looking to stay in charge of the La Liga title race when they travel to San Mames on Sunday evening to take on an inconsistent Athletic Bilbao.

Diego Simeone's side are currently top of the table, three points clear of second-placed Real Madrid, while Athletic, who are without a win in their last six league fixtures, occupy 10th position.


Match preview

Athletic Bilbao Marcelino pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Athletic made it five straight La Liga draws on Wednesday evening when they played out a stalemate with Real Betis, with the result leaving them in 10th position in the table.

Marcelino's side have incredibly played two Copa del Rey finals this month, first losing the 2020 final to rivals Real Sociedad on April 3 before going down 4-0 to Barcelona in this year's conclusion on April 17.

The Basque outfit, as mentioned, are on a run of six games without a win in the league, with their last success coming at home to Granada on March 7.

Athletic are currently 10th in the table, some 11 points behind seventh-placed Villarreal, but they are only four points off eighth-placed Granada on the same number of matches.

Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa celebrates scoring against Huesca on April 22, 2021© Reuters

Atletico, meanwhile, returned to the top of La Liga on Thursday evening courtesy of a 2-0 win over Huesca, with Angel Correa and Yannick Carrasco finding the back of the net at Wanda Metropolitano.

Simeone's side have had a wobble in recent weeks, which has allowed Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla to pull themselves into the title argument, but back-to-back victories over Eibar and Huesca have left the capital giants in charge of their own destiny entering the final straight.

Atletico could be second by the time that they enter this match as Real Madrid are in action against Real Betis on Saturday evening, but the Red and Whites would return to the summit if they avoid defeat.

Chasing their first La Liga title since 2013-14, Simeone's team will be desperate to get over the line, and they will be determined to pick up six points from their next two games against Athletic and Elche before travelling to Camp Nou to take on third-placed Barcelona on May 8.

Atletico boast comfortably the best home record in La Liga this term, but they have dropped points in six of their 15 away matches, and Athletic are certainly capable of making this a very tricky encounter.

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D

Athletic Bilbao form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D

Atletico Madrid La Liga form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

Atletico Madrid form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W



Team News

Atletico Madrid forward Luis Suarez pictured on March 10, 2021© Reuters

Athletic will again be without the services of Peru Nolaskoain, Yeray Alvarez, Iker Muniain and Yuri Berchiche on Sunday evening through injury.

Ander Capa is available after serving a one-game suspension against Betis, though, and he could return to the starting XI, which would allow Oscar de Marcos to move further forward.

Inaki Williams, Unai Lopez and Raul Garcia all started on the bench on Wednesday but should be back in the side for this match, while Dani Garcia could get the nod in the middle of the park.

As for Atletico, Jose Gimenez will serve a one-match suspension, meaning that there could be a start in the middle of the defence for Felipe.

Luis Suarez and Joao Felix are said to be in the latter stages of their recoveries from their respective injuries, and while they could make the squad, it seems unlikely that either will be in the starting XI.

As a result, Correa should lead the line with support from Marcos Llorente and Saul Niguez, while Hector Herrera is likely to hold off competition from Geoffrey Kondogbia and Lucas Torreira to feature in central midfield alongside Koke.

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; Capa, Nunez, Martinez, Balenziaga; De Marcos, D. Garcia, Lopez, Berenguer; Williams, R. Garcia

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Savic, Felipe, Lodi; Trippier, Herrera, Koke, Carrasco; Saul, Correa, Llorente


SM words green background

We say: Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Atletico Madrid

This is a very, very difficult game for Atletico, even taking into account Athletic's recent results. Simeone's side could potentially be boosted by the returns of Suarez and Felix, though, and we fancy the league leaders to just have enough to edge out a narrow victory at San Mames.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw/Away:data


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How you voted: Athletic Bilbao vs Atletico

Athletic Bilbao
19.5%
Draw
18.7%
Atletico Madrid
61.8%
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Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa celebrates scoring against Huesca on April 22, 2021
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Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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