Ace Football previews the La Liga match between Athletic Club and Real Madrid and offers betting tips, odds, line-ups, and team news.
Real Madrid enter their penultimate match of season knowing anything less than a victory over Athletic Club on Sunday could end their La Liga title defense.
With Atletico Madrid to play Osasuna at the same time, the pressure is on. Los Blancos lie two points of the La Liga leaders with only two games to spare, making this a must-win affair.
That said, Athletic are more capable of making life uncomfortable for Real Madrid. The hosts are a tough side to crack at home, but their recent slump in form could just give Zinedine Zidane’s side the break they need.
Athletic Club Form & Stats
A 1-0 defeat to Huesca midweek ended a nine-match unbeaten run in La Liga (W3 D6). Despite this stat, Athletic have been relatively inconsistent as Marcelino has rested his senior stars. The manager has been attempting to give his younger players more opportunities as the campaign comes to a close.
Despite back-to-back Copa del Rey final defeats last month, it’s been a decent season. Athletic are in ninth place in La Liga, which is two spots better compared to last season’s 11th-placed finish, and won the Spanish Super Cup in January.
The Lions, however, will be without five first-team stars, including captain Iker Muniain. Although Yeray Alvarez’s return should give Marcelino’s defense a welcome boost as the club attempt to pull off an upset against Real Madrid.
Unlike their opponents, the pressure is off for Athletic. They can take this game in any way they see fit. And given their recent wins over Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, they’re more than capable of giving Real Madrid a run for their money.
Key Team Stats
- On a 9-match unbeaten run at home in La Liga (W3 D6).
- BTTS in 9 of their last 10 home games in La Liga.
- Won only 1 of their last 22 games against Real Madrid in La Liga (D5 L16).
- Over 3.5 cards in 9 of their last 10 games against Real Madrid in all competitions.
- Over 2.5 goals scored in their last 3 home games in La Liga.
Real Madrid Form & Stats
Luka Modric, Rodrygo, Alvaro Odriozola, and Karim Benzema scored to bag Real Madrid a crucial 4-1 win at Granada. The midweek victory kept them within two points of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid.
For Zinedine Zidane’s men to retain their league title, wins in their last two games is a must. It won’t be easy to beat either Athletic Club or Villarreal, but they’ve overcome bigger obstacles this season.
Real Madrid also have the league’s best away record, having lost only once in 18 games on the road (W11 D6). They haven’t lost to Athletic in La Liga since March 2015 either.
Toni Kroos, however, remains unavailable. The German is in isolation after coming in contact with a COVID-19 infected person. Zidane must also cope without defenders Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Dani Carvajal, and Ferland Mendy.
Key Team Stats
- On a 16-match unbeaten run in La Liga (W11 D5).
- Unbeaten in their last 5 away games against Athletic Club in La Liga (W3 D2).
- Scored at least 2 goals in 8 of their last 10 games in La Liga.
- Zinedine Zidane hasn’t lost any of his 9 games against Athletic Club as Real Madrid manager (W6 D3).
- Karim Benzema has scored 6 goals in his last 5 away games in La Liga.
Out: Peru Nolaskoain, Ander Capa, Yuri Berchiche, Iker Muniain, Inigo Lekue.
Out: Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos, Lucas Vazquez, Dani Carvajal, Ferland Mendy, Raphael Varane.
(Note: The image will change to the official XI once they’re both announced)
Top Goalscorers in La Liga
Below are some head-to-head stats on each team’s recent form in La Liga.