Athletic Bilbao comes from a narrow 1:0 victory away from home against Malaga last Sunday evening. It must be said that the visiting side was more than lucky this time, since they weren’t that superior and actually the players of Malaga had much more of chances created.
Home side looked more dangerous, but conceded the only goal in 53rd minute with a goal from Garcia, as the players of Bilbao managed to keep the clean untouched despite some more chances created by the home side. It was nice to see them responding with a victory, since the team came from a very important quarter-finals game of Europa League, as they had to play 120 minutes away to Sevilla and lost the semi-finals ticket via penalty kicks. Hosts will be playing in 4-2-3-1 formation with Williams as lone striker, who is doubtful but should be ready for the game, plus Muniain, Susaeta and Garcia as offensive midfielders. Injured are central defender Aymeric Laporte (26/3), forward Sabin Merino (2/0) and one of their best players, striker Aduriz (31/17).
Atletico Madrid, on the other side, had an easy game at home against Granada last Saturday evening, celebrating the three pointer with a 3:0 result. Koke opened up the scoreline already in fifteenth minute and made everything easier, while Torres and Correa sealed the victory with goals in the second halftime.
That victory, combined with another setback from Barcelona, brought players of Atletico Madrid again leveled up at the standings together with Barcelona and team’s hopes for Primera title are once again alive. With five rounds till the end, they enter probably with equal chances, while Real Madrid stands only a point away from these two. On that way, I’m almost certain that the players of Atletico will do everything needed to get five victories, especially since their morale is sky high now, after they eliminated Barcelona in the quarter-finals of Champions League as well. Central midfielder Tiago (13/1) is injured, as well as central defender Gimenez (24/1). Midfielder Gabi (31/1) is suspended for this one. Atletico Madrid will almost surely be playing in 4-4-2 formation with Torres and Griezmann as strikers. On the bright side, left back Filipe Luis is back after serving suspension and should be in the starting eleven. Stefan Savic should cover for injured Gimenez.
Atletico have scored at least 3 goals in 6 of their last 7 matches (La Liga).
Atletico have won 6 of their last 7 matches against Athletic Club in all competitions.
Atletico is in a great form at the moment and the team comes here with a really boosted morale since they are once again more than alive in the title race. Momentum is completely on their side and I expect the visiting team to pull out a victory here, easy or hard.
picks: Atletico Madrid Wins