One of the weekend’s standout La Liga fixtures sees two of the teams that have never been relegated from Spain’s top-flight square off on this one. The game between Bilbao and Real Madrid will take place at the Estadio San Mamés on September 15th, 2018.
ATHLETIC BILBAO vs. REAL MADRID
Three-Way: 1: Bilbao +500; X: +333 Draw; 2: Real Madrid -189 at BetDSI Sportsbook
Spread +1: Bilbao -102; Real Madrid -105
Total 3.5 goals: Over +120; Under -149
Eduardo Berizzo’s Athletic had an extra week to get ready for the game as their clash with Rayo Vallecano, initially scheduled for September 1, was called off on August 27. Los Leones opened their La Liga campaign with a dramatic 2-1 home victory over Leganés, which was followed by a 2-2 draw against newly-promoted Huesca, who fought back after a 2-0 deficit to snatch a point.
The luck that got Bilbao’s back in the opener let them down in the following clash with Huesca as the hosts dropped a two-goal lead late in the game to the resilient visitors. Markel Susaeta gave Los Leones a 1-0 lead in the 47th minute, while Yuri Berchiche doubled the lead in the 63rd, but Huesca responded through Jose Miramon and Ezequiel Avilla and secured a deserved point.
- Bilbao conceded at least a goal in seven out of the previous eight home matches
- Bilbao scored two or more goals in six out of the last 11 games at home
Rampant Real Madrid has the chance to make it four wins out of four league games under new boss Julen Lopetegui when they take on Athletic Bilbao, who are still unbeaten this season. Putting aside their 4-2 defeat to neighbors Atlético in the UEFA Super Cup, Lopetegui couldn’t have wished for a smoother start in the Madrid dugout. Los Blancos have won their opening three league games for just the fifth time this century – seeing off Getafe, Girona, and Leganés.
Real Madrid secured a comfortable 4-1 win over Leganes thanks to the first-half goal from Gareth Bale and the second-half brace from Karim Benzema, while Sergio Ramos converted a penalty. The visitors managed to tie the game in the 24th minute through Guido Carrillo’s penalty, but that was everything Leganes could do as the 4-1 defeat proved to be inevitable.
- Real Madrid didn’t concede more than a goal in any of their last nine La Liga visits to Athletic
- Real Madrid is currently on a 22-game scoring streak in all competitions
Madrid is unbeaten (W4, D2) in their last six La Liga matches against Bilbao and lost just one of the last 17 meetings with the Basque side (W13, D3). Los Blancos are unbeaten in the last three visits to the San Mames, while both games in the 2017/18 season ended without a winner (0-0 and 1-1). The visitors are the favorites on this one but Bilbao knows how to upset the giants at their own stadium, so I am convinced Los Leones will fight like lions to get a positive result.
MY PICK: AH Bilbao +1 (-102)
ADDITIONAL PICK: Just one of the last 40 league meetings between these sides has finished scoreless and it was the aforementioned clash in the previous season. Both teams scored in five out of the last six H2H tilts and despite the fact that BTTS is not such a frequent case at San Mames, I am backing both teams to score and over 2.5 goals.
MY PICK: BTTS and Over 2.5 goals (-125)