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Apr 25, 2021 at 8pm UK
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Berenguer (8'), Martinez (86')
Sancet (44'), Vencedor (61'), Garcia (66'), Lopez (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Savic (77')
Llorente (11'), Torreira (81')

Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs. Atletico Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs. Atletico Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Atletico Madrid will be looking to stay in charge of the La Liga title race when they travel to San Mames on Sunday evening to take on an inconsistent Athletic Bilbao.

Diego Simeone's side are currently top of the table, three points clear of second-placed Real Madrid, while Athletic, who are without a win in their last six league fixtures, occupy 10th position.

Match preview

Athletic made it five straight La Liga draws on Wednesday evening when they played out a stalemate with Real Betis, with the result leaving them in 10th position in the table.

Marcelino's side have incredibly played two Copa del Rey finals this month, first losing the 2020 final to rivals Real Sociedad on April 3 before going down 4-0 to Barcelona in this year's conclusion on April 17.

The Basque outfit, as mentioned, are on a run of six games without a win in the league, with their last success coming at home to Granada on March 7.

Athletic are currently 10th in the table, some 11 points behind seventh-placed Villarreal, but they are only four points off eighth-placed Granada on the same number of matches.

Atletico, meanwhile, returned to the top of La Liga on Thursday evening courtesy of a 2-0 win over Huesca, with Angel Correa and Yannick Carrasco finding the back of the net at Wanda Metropolitano.

Simeone's side have had a wobble in recent weeks, which has allowed Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla to pull themselves into the title argument, but back-to-back victories over Eibar and Huesca have left the capital giants in charge of their own destiny entering the final straight.

Atletico could be second by the time that they enter this match as Real Madrid are in action against Real Betis on Saturday evening, but the Red and Whites would return to the summit if they avoid defeat.

Chasing their first La Liga title since 2013-14, Simeone's team will be desperate to get over the line, and they will be determined to pick up six points from their next two games against Athletic and Elche before travelling to Camp Nou to take on third-placed Barcelona on May 8.

Atletico boast comfortably the best home record in La Liga this term, but they have dropped points in six of their 15 away matches, and Athletic are certainly capable of making this a very tricky encounter.

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D

Athletic Bilbao form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D

Atletico Madrid La Liga form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

Atletico Madrid form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Athletic will again be without the services of Peru Nolaskoain, Yeray Alvarez, Iker Muniain and Yuri Berchiche on Sunday evening through injury.

Ander Capa is available after serving a one-game suspension against Betis, though, and he could return to the starting XI, which would allow Oscar de Marcos to move further forward.

Inaki Williams, Unai Lopez and Raul Garcia all started on the bench on Wednesday but should be back in the side for this match, while Dani Garcia could get the nod in the middle of the park.

As for Atletico, Jose Gimenez will serve a one-match suspension, meaning that there could be a start in the middle of the defence for Felipe.

Luis Suarez and Joao Felix are said to be in the latter stages of their recoveries from their respective injuries, and while they could make the squad, it seems unlikely that either will be in the starting XI.

As a result, Correa should lead the line with support from Marcos Llorente and Saul Niguez, while Hector Herrera is likely to hold off competition from Geoffrey Kondogbia and Lucas Torreira to feature in central midfield alongside Koke.

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; Capa, Nunez, Martinez, Balenziaga; De Marcos, D. Garcia, Lopez, Berenguer; Williams, R. Garcia

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Savic, Felipe, Lodi; Trippier, Herrera, Koke, Carrasco; Saul, Correa, Llorente

We say: Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Atletico Madrid

This is a very, very difficult game for Atletico, even taking into account Athletic's recent results. Simeone's side could potentially be boosted by the returns of Suarez and Felix, though, and we fancy the league leaders to just have enough to edge out a narrow victory at San Mames.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw/Away:data

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10Athletic Bilbao321011114134741
18Real Valladolid32514132943-1429
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