Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao – Defence to come out on top in Spain

Atletico likely to keep it tight with under 2.5 goals the pick
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Atletico have a strong league record against Bilbao (Getty Images)

Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips


Atletico Madrid have not lost in La Liga to Athletic Bilbao in ten matches since January 2013 and that is likely to continue on Saturday at Wanda Metropolitano. The hosts have been in excellent defensive form which means another low scorer on the cards.

Club Atletico de Madrid


Atletico recorded a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League Group A encounter. Goals from Saul Niguez and Antoine Griezmann gave Los Colchoneros a third win in four games in all competitions.

Their league form is quite brilliant as well and Atletico remain unbeaten in eight La Liga games winning four. Five of those matches have seen a clean sheet for Atletico, whose defensive brilliance has been a standout.

With Jan Oblak in goal, Filipe Luis, Diego Godin and Lucas Hernandez excelling in defence Atletico have conceded just six goals so far. Their attack is led by Griezmann, who has three goals and three assists in La Liga.

Defensive strengths of Atletico give them an advantage (Getty Images)

Athletic Club Bilbao


Bilbao lost 1-0 at Espanyol on Monday making it a winless run of ten La Liga games, drawing seven and losing three. Los Leones have just 10 points this season and start this round a point above the relegation zone.

The visitors remain winless in away games this season, drawing four and losing one of their five trips. With 11 goals scored, Bilbao remain one of the lowest scoring sides of the season.

Defence is also a big worry for Los Leones with 16 goals conceded, which is already the fourth highest. Iker Muniain has four goals this season, but the Basques have drawn a blank in their last two league games.

Head-to-Head


These sides have played in 162 La Liga games so far and Atletico Madrid have a 73-60 advantage with 29 matches drawn. Last season saw Atletico doing a league double over Bilbao.

Kevin Gameiro and Diego Costa scored the goals for Atletico’s 2-0 win in this fixture last year.

Match Up


Atletico have been their defensive best this season, as they continue their pursuit of La Liga leaders Barcelona. They have already picked up six clean sheets in the league and are likely to add to that tally.

Bilbao have struggled for goals this season and have scored just four in their last seven La Liga matches. Up against Atletico’s defensive strengths, that is unlikely to change.

Iker Muniain has been Bilbao's main goal threat so far (Getty Images)

Key Statistics


  • Atletico Madrid have seen under 2.5 goals in 10 of their last 11 matches (La Liga).
  • Atletico Madrid have kept a clean sheet in 4 of their last 5 home matches (La Liga).
  • Athletic Bilbao have seen under 2.5 goals in 5 of their last 6 matches (La Liga).
  • Athletic Bilbao have failed to score in 4 of their last 6 away matches against Atletico Madrid (La Liga).

Verdict


Atletico Madrid have been very impressive against Dortmund on Wednesday keeping their strong attack at bay. I don’t see this struggling Bilbao attack doing any better in this La Liga match that is more likely to end up a low scorer.

Best Bet: Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.53 - 4 Units
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Conrad Castleton 10 November 2018

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