MX23RW : Monday, June 14 11:44:31| >> :600:339694:339694:
Dec 31, 2020 at 1pm UK at San Mames
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
0-1
Real SociedadReal Sociedad

Vencedor (23'), Berchiche (55'), Nunez (62'), Martinez (81'), Capa (84')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Portu (5')
Guevara (8'), Barrenetxea (21'), Merino (39'), Zubeldia (67')

Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Sociedad - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Real Sociedad head into Thursday's fixture with Athletic Bilbao looking to end a six-match winless streak in La Liga.

Meanwhile, Athletic welcome the former leaders to the San Mames Stadium sitting in mid-table after recording just one victory over the same period.


Match preview

Real Sociedad head coach Imanol Alguacil pictured on November 5, 2020© Reuters

One of the main talking points during the early weeks of the season was whether Sociedad were capable of maintaining a title bid at a time when Real Madrid and Barcelona were struggling for consistency.

While the two giants of the division have gradually improved over time, Sociedad have lost all momentum at an alarming rate, picking up just three points from their last six matches.

Three successive defeats have been recorded against Barcelona, Levante and new frontrunners Atletico Madrid, leaving Txuri-urdinak six points adrift of the latter.

Months after receiving widespread credit, Imanol Alguacil now finds himself under pressure to oversee a change in fortunes over the coming weeks.

Sociedad have not managed to score a second-half goal in six league outings, a streak which must end sooner rather than later if they wish to stay in contention for a Champions League spot.

Athletic have spent much of their season competing at the wrong end of the table with only four points from two matches seeing them put some distance between themselves and the bottom three.

Like his counterpart in the dugout, Gaizka Garitano has been the target for criticism of late, and it has naturally led to speculation regarding his position.

With three home matches to come in succession, Garitano will hope that seeing off Huesca and claiming a draw at Villarreal represents the start of an improved 2021.

However, he requires much more from his attack with long-serving attacker Inaki Williams still topping the goalscoring charts with just three strikes.

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form: DLDLWD

Real Sociedad La Liga form: DDDLLL
Real Sociedad form (all competitions): DDDLLL


Team News

Athletic Bilbao head coach Gaizka Garitano pictured in March 2020© Reuters

Williams is expected to retain his place in the final third, despite the return of Asier Villalibre.

Alex Berenguer is likely to feature on the left flank for Athletic after overcoming a minor injury.

Sociedad boss Alguacil could hand a recall to Alexander Isak, potentially at the expense of Willian Jose.

Martin Merquelanz is also an option in the final third after dropping down to the substitutes' bench for the game against Atletico.

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; Capa, Alvarez, Martinez, Berchiche; Vencedor, Vesga; Marcos, Muniain, Berengeur; Williams

Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Remiro; Gorosabel, Elustondo, Normand, Monreal; Silva, Zubimendi, Merino; Porto, Isak, Oyarzabal


SM words green background

We say: Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Real Sociedad

With neither side having produced their best form of late, we do not expect this fixture to live up to its potential. In what may be a nervy affair to end 2021, a low-scoring fixture between two well-matched sides could play out at the San Mames Stadium.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win 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.Home/Away:data


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Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone pictured in November 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1 38268467254286
2 38259467283984
3 38247785384779
4 38245953332077
5 3817111059382162
6 381710115050061
7 3815131060441658
8 381411135557-253
9 38137184765-1846
10 381113144642446
11 381111163748-1144
12 381111163658-2244
13 381013155053-343
14 38914154657-1141
15 38911182843-1538
16 38911183657-2138
17 38812183455-2136
18 38713183453-1934
19 38516173457-2331
20 38612202952-2330

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