Probable lineups, predictions, tactics, team news and key stats

Athletico Madrid will host Atletico Madrid at San Mames in a bid to build momentum for Saturday’s La Liga clash.

Athletic Club will want to build momentum after their 3-2 win over Cadiz last weekend. They had won just one win from their five matches prior to the Cadiz victory but will now want to move on from that form and get a few wins under their belt as the season enters its commercial end.

Athletic are currently eighth in La Liga and have been knocked out of all other competitions. So a good end to the league season is the only thing Marcelino thinks about. They are yet to face Sevilla and Valencia in the league, and a solid outing against Atletico will boost their confidence for what is to come.

Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, are higher in the La Liga table. They are fourth with 63 points but will have a chance to move up to third place as Barcelona only play on Sunday. They also have the chance to finish second behind league leaders Real Madrid, who only need one more point to seal the title.

Atletico Madrid come into the game after a 0-0 draw with Granada. The defending La Liga champions dominated the game at the Wanda Metropolitano but couldn’t break down a resolute Granada defence.

Their overall form isn’t too impressive, with just one win in their last five games in all competitions. But Sevilla and Barcelona have also stuttered recently which has kept Atletico Madrid in contention for a second place.

Team News and Tactics

athletic club

Marcelino will continue with two banks of four in defense and midfield, and two forwards up front. He will, however, be forced into a change in midfield as Mikel Vesga was sent off in his win over Cadiz.

Athletic Club will still be without Alex Petxa, Oihan Sancet, Asier Villalibre and Inigo Lekue due to their respective injuries. Marcelino is unlikely to make more than one change to the starting XI which took the field against Cadiz.

Unai Simon will retain his place in goal, with Oscar De Marcos, Daniel Vivian, Inigo Martinez and Mikel Balenziaga forming the back four. In Vesga’s absence, Unai Vencedor will be paired with Dani Garcia in midfield, with Nico Williams and Iker Muniain on either flank.

Raul Garcia, who was on the scoresheet against Cadiz, and Inaki Williams will lead Athletic Club’s attack against Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Probable composition (4-4-2): Simon; From Marcos, Vivian, Martinez, Balenziaga; Nico Williams, Dani Garcia, Vencedor, Muniain; Inaki Williams, Raul Garcia


Atlético Madrid

Diego Simeone will welcome Felipe and Geoffrey Kondogbia from their respective suspensions, which will be a big boost for the meeting in San Mames.

The reigning La Liga champions will also be without numerous players due to injury concerns, with Joao Felix, Thomas Lemar, Hector Herrera and Jose Gimenez all set to miss the game.

Stefan Savic will miss the game through suspension, but Simeone has a ready-made replacement in Felipe’s return. With the Argentine tactician deploying a 3-5-2, the other two centre-backs, Mario Hermoso and Reinildo will retain their places in the starting XI.

Kondogbia will also reclaim their place in the starting XI, with Javier Serrano possibly out. The two wingers, Marcos Llorente and Yannick Carrasco, as well as Rodrigo De Paul and Koke are also expected to retain their places in the squad.

Simeone could end up playing Luis Suarez alongside Antoine Griezmann in the two-man strike partnership but we expect him to continue with the duo that started against Granada – Angel Correa and Antoine Griezmann.

Probable composition (3-5-2): Oblak; Felipe, Hermoso, Reinildo; Llorente, DePaul, Kondogbia, Koke, Carrasco; Griezmann, Correa


Key statistics

  • Athletic have lost just one of their last five home league games which leaves Atletico a mountain to climb at San Mames.
  • Atletico Madrid have lost just two of their last 13 games in all competitions. One of the two losses came against Manchester City in the Premier League.
  • The encounters between Athletic Club and Atletico Madrid have scored just once in their last 14 encounters.
  • Four of the last five meetings between the two teams have seen both teams score.
  • The last time Athletic Club failed to score at San Mames against Atletico Madrid was in 2016 when the Rojiblancos won 1-0.

Player to watch

Angel Correa

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Angel Correa is Atletico Madrid’s joint-top scorer this season in all competitions alongside Luis Suarez, with the two having netted 12 goals each. But the 27-year-old has fallen into sterile form, having failed to score in his last six La Liga appearances.

Correa will want to fix that at San Mames and lead Atletico to the three points.


Athletic Club 1-1 Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid struggled to get past a resolute Granada side but Athletic Club de San Mames will be much more enterprising with the ball. This will allow the reigning La Liga champions to be on the scoresheet. But bearing in mind Bilbao’s home form, this one could be a close encounter. Expect both teams to score and the game ends in a 1-1 stalemate.

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