Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Prediction: Home win is the way to go

 | 26th April | 

7 mins read

Mark Sochon's La Liga Tips

A huge game in La Liga is in store on Saturday evening as the hunt for the Champions League is in full swing and these two sides are fighting over fourth spot in the league.

This match is set to kick-off at 20:00, live on Premier Sports 2 and our La Liga expert has picked out two Even-money picks as his Best Bets for his Atlético Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao predictions column...

Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Betting Tips

  • Atlético Madrid to Win @ 1/1
  • Antoine Griezmann 1+ shots on target & Total booking points - Over 39.5 @ 1/1

Atlético Madrid and Athletic Club meet in the big game this weekend at the top end of La Liga. The two teams are fighting hard for 4th place and Champions League qualification with Diego Simeone’s side currently three points better off.

After a largely disappointing year for Spanish clubs in European competitions, there is no prospect of 5th being good enough for a place in next season’s Champions League. That means it really does feel like a straight fight between these two for the right to join Real Madrid, Barcelona and Girona at Europe’s top table next term.

Based purely on the three meetings between the clubs so far this season, it’s Athletic de Bilbao rather than Atlético de Madrid who are the superior side. The Basques dominated the reverse meeting in La Liga, winning 2-0, although it could easily have been more. They also triumphed 4-0 on aggregate in the Semi Finals of the Copa del Rey which they went on to win earlier this month.

We have seen a slight drop-off in the league from Ernesto Valverde’s side since that historic victory which ended a 40 year wait for one of Spain’s big two trophies.

Athletic lost ground in the race for 4th with a 1-1 draw at home to Villarreal in the week after the cup final and even more surprisingly failed to see off lowly Granada at San Mamés last time out. The Andalusians failed to register a shot on target of their own in the game, but left with a 1-1 draw thanks to an own goal from Iñaki Williams.

There was big news out of Bilbao this week with club captain Iker Muniain announcing his decision to leave this summer after 15 years. Muniain will depart a club icon with more than 500 appearances since emerging from the youth ranks at Athletic’s prodigious Ledesma academy, but he has fallen down the pecking order since Valverde’s return in 2022 with his game not suited to Athletic’s high pressing style.

It’s an approach that has yielded some very impressive results this season, but it’s true that they’ve been much less convincing away with only five of their 16 victories coming on the road.

The exact same point could be made about Atlético Madrid who have been outstanding at the Estadio Metropolitano, winning 14 of their 16 league games there, but really poor away from home. That’s a trend that has continued throughout the campaign and we’ve seen plenty more evidence of the huge disparity between their home and away performance levels over the past few weeks.

The month started on a pretty positive note for Atleti with a rare road win at Villarreal followed by victories over Borussia Dortmund and Girona at the Estadio Metropolitano. However things came crashing down in a dismal week which saw them concede four goals to exit the Champions League in Germany, before a really poor 2-0 defeat away to an out-of-form Alavés side last weekend in La Liga.

The financial implications of missing out on Champions League qualification would be huge for Atleti so this is a massive football match for them, not least given head-to-head record is the determining factor in La Liga should two teams finish level on points.

Team News:

The hosts will have to cope without the suspended Stefan Savic while Gabriel Paulista, Thomas Lemar and Memphis Depay are sidelined through injury.

There’s better news regarding Álvaro Morata who has been passed fit. However with the former Chelsea man badly out of form, it may be Ángel Correa who partners Antoine Griezmann in attack for Los Colchoneros.

Athletic can take plenty of encouragement from their three wins against this opposition already this season, but they’re in worse shape defensively this weekend with problems at full back.

First choice right back Óscar De Marcos is suspended while their regular left back Yuri Berchiche is injured. Yeray Álvarez is also pushing for a recall, meaning there could be three changes to the back four that started the last match against Granada.

Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main Real Sociedad vs Real Madrid page on betfred.com (or app) for all the live betting prices on this match.

Atlético Madrid come into this crunch game as the favourites at Evens with the Draw priced at 5/2 while you can back the visitors at 11/4.

You can back Athletic Club to win to nil at 11/2, a winning bet in each of the three meetings so far this term while Athletic and Under 2.5 Goals is available at 13/2.

However, if you see the side from the Spanish capital doing the business again at home in the league, Atlético Madrid and Both Teams to Score may appeal at 3/1 while you can back Over 1.5 Home Team Goals at Evens.

Álvaro Morata is the 4/1 favourite to score first but with doubts over his participation from the off, punters may be more inclined to consider Antoine Griezmann who is 9/2 to score first and 8/5 to score anytime.

From a visiting perspective, Gorka Guruzeta is the top scorer for the Basques. He’s in good form with six goals in his last nine matches in all competitions and is priced at 7/1 to score first and 12/5 to score anytime.

Bet 1 - Atlético Madrid to Win @ 1/1

These are two teams who have been very strong at home this season but much less convincing away and in truth, Athletic’s win on this ground in the Copa del Rey feels like something of an outlier. They were second best for much of that game with Atlético Madrid creating the better chances but failing to break through in a fixture they trailed after conceding an early penalty.

I can see Simeone’s men getting revenge here on an Athletic side that has suffered a slight dip since winning the cup. With an 88% home win ratio in La Liga this term, odds of Evens for Atlético Madrid to win look to offer good value.

Bet 2 - Antoine Griezmann 1+ shots on target & Total booking points - Over 39.5 @ 1/1

The stakes couldn’t be much higher here and with both teams fresh from a midweek rest, we are likely to see a game played at a really high tempo and it certainly has the potential to turn into quite a feisty affair.

It’s hard to see either side running away with it, but if one man is going to stand up and take a hold of the game for his team, it’s likely to be Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman has once again been the brightest light for Atleti this term and with regular strike partner Álvaro Morata misfiring, there is even more onus on him to provide the attacking spark for Los Rojiblancos.

As a result, I’m using the #PickYourPunt tool to back Antoine Griezmann 1+ shots on target and Over 39.5 booking points at Evens for my second bet.

You can check out Mark's La Liga Betting Tips along with those from the rest of the Betfred Insights Spanish Football writers on our La Liga home page...

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