Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Predictions

Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao predictions for the La Liga affair. Atletico Madrid aims to recover from two consecutive losses as they host Athletic Bilbao at Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday night in a significant La Liga clash. Read on for our free tips and predictions.

Atletico Madrid
Athletic Bilbao

La Liga | Gameweek 33 – Apr 27, 2024 at 8pm UK at Estadio Civitas Metropolitano

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Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Predictions

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Tactical Tussle at the Metropolitano: Atletico and Athletic Vie for Upper Hand

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Key Stats

– Atletico Madrid boasts one of the best home records this season but has faltered in recent games, losing momentum at a critical juncture.

– Athletic Bilbao has revitalised under Ernesto Valverde, challenging for a top-four finish with a balanced approach in attack and defence.

– Gorka Guruzeta, Athletic’s top scorer, symbolises their renewed attacking threat, which could be pivotal in deciding this tightly contested match.

This La Liga encounter at the Wanda Metropolitano presents a critical battle for Champions League qualification, featuring Atletico Madrid hosting Athletic Bilbao. Both teams are in close contention, with Atletico just three points above Athletic, making this match pivotal in the race for European spots.

Tactical Dynamics and Expected Gameplay

Atletico Madrid’s Strategic Outlook

Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, known for their gritty defensive tactics and counter-attacking prowess, have shown vulnerability recently, losing momentum with successive defeats. Atletico’s approach typically relies on solid defensive structures and exploiting the speed of Antoine Griezmann and Ángel Correa in transition. Despite recent setbacks, their formidable home record suggests a resilience that could be decisive.

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Athletic Bilbao’s Resurgence

Under Ernesto Valverde, Athletic Bilbao has transformed into one of La Liga’s most vibrant teams, blending traditional Basque tenacity with a more fluid attacking style. The inclusion of Inaki Williams and Oihan Sancet in supporting roles to Gorka Guruzeta adds dynamism upfront, challenging any defensive lineup. Their recent form, though marred by draws, shows a team capable of controlling games and creating chances.

Key Match-Ups

The midfield battle will be crucial, with Atletico’s Rodrigo De Paul and Koke facing Athletic’s Benat and Iñigo Ruiz de Galarreta. Control in this area could dictate the pace and flow of the game, impacting both defensive stability and the creation of scoring opportunities.

Projections on Gameplay

Expect Atletico to employ a cautious approach, focusing on maintaining shape and breaking through quick counters. Athletic, buoyed by recent performances, might adopt a more assertive stance, pressing high and using the width provided by Nico Williams to stretch Atletico’s defence.

Team Lineups and Roles

Atletico Madrid’s Formation

  • Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak
  • Defence: Axel Witsel, José Giménez, Cesar Azpilicueta
  • Midfield: Nahuel Molina, Rodrigo De Paul, Koke, Marcos Llorente, Samuel Lino
  • Attack: Antoine Griezmann, Ángel Correa

With Stefan Savic suspended, Witsel might slot into a makeshift central defensive role, adding steel but potentially reducing mobility. Llorente’s return should bolster the midfield, providing energy and defensive cover, allowing De Paul and Koke to focus on orchestrative duties.

Athletic Bilbao’s Formation

  • Goalkeeper: Unai Simon
  • Defence: Yeray Alvarez, Dani Vivian, Aitor Paredes, Inigo Lekue
  • Midfield: Iñigo Ruiz de Galarreta, Benat
  • Attack: Inaki Williams, Oihan Sancet, Nico Williams
  • Forward: Gorka Guruzeta

Athletic’s setup aims to exploit their physicality and speed, with Yeray stepping in at right-back adding robustness in defence. The midfield duo of Benat and Galarreta will need to disrupt Atletico’s rhythm and dictate the tempo to feed their dynamic attacking trio.

Predictions and Justifications


Best Bet: Athletic Bilbao to Win

Athletic’s form and Atletico’s recent struggles, including a demoralising exit from the Champions League, set the stage for a potential upset. Athletic’s cohesive play and tactical discipline make them well-suited to exploit Atletico’s current vulnerabilities, especially away from home where they seek a historic win.

Correct Score: Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Atletico Madrid

Reflecting the best bet, a narrow victory for Athletic seems plausible. Given both teams’ solid defensive records but Atletico’s recent goal-scoring troubles, a single goal could indeed decide the outcome. Athletic’s ability to secure results in tight games gives them the edge.

Goalscorer Prediction: Gorka Guruzeta

As Athletic’s leading scorer, Guruzeta’s role is critical. His physical presence and ability to find space in tight areas will be key against Atletico’s compact defence. Expect him to be a focal point in Athletic’s attack, potentially sealing the game with a decisive goal.

First Half Result: Draw

Both teams are likely to start cautiously, understanding the high stakes. Atletico, in particular, might adopt a more defensive stance early on to avoid conceding. A goalless first half is a likely scenario as both teams assess and attempt to neutralise each other’s threats.

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Gerard Gabasa
Gerard Gabasa is our go-to football expert for all things Spanish. His passion for the game is evident in every analysis he offers. Having played professionally with Málaga's youth team, Gerard blends firsthand experience with deep insights. While he didn't ascend to the senior ranks, this stint enriched his understanding of the game's nuances. Over the years, Gerard has crafted in-depth match analyses and player evaluations that showcase his profound knowledge. With Gerard, expect a seasoned perspective on Spanish football every time.