Athletic Bilbao travel to the Vicente Calderon on Monday night (9pm GMT) to face Atletico Madrid. The home team are the red-hot 3/5 favourites for this game and understandably so. They are far more settled and have the core of their Europa League winning side intact.
However, both teams will be desperate for a win following a 5-3 home defeat for Bilbao against Real Betis and a disappointing 1-1 draw for Atletico away to Levante.
Athletic Bilbao are likely to be without Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente. Both of Bilbao’s key men are looking towards the exit at San Mames, with Bayern Munich hot on the chase for Martinez and a host of clubs across Europe reportedly after Llorente.
On the face of it, all the zest and essence of last season’s impressive Bilbao team has been stripped away, leaving nothing but a daunting cloud and a great deal of uneasiness. How many expect manager Marcelo Bielsa to last the whole season?
Make no mistake about it, this Bilbao team could not travel to Old Trafford and grab a win in the fashion they did last season. And while Atletico Madrid are not Manchester United, they’ll prove to be an extremely difficult opponent.
Atletico are a good team with plenty of attacking flair in the side. The club look to have negotiated their way through this transfer window with Falcao still in the team. He really is one of the deadliest strikers in Europe, and any future success for Atletico will be built around him.
Bet365 odds on this Monday night La Liga game:
3/5 Atletico Madrid, 3/1 Draw, 9/2 Bilbao
Arda Turan grabbed the goal for Atletico last weekend and manager Diego Simeone will be hoping for more of the same from the Turkish winger.
With Turan on one flank and Adrian on the other, Atletico’s attack always looks dangerous going forward. Simeone will, however, need to find a way to transform that potential into a consistent flow of goals.
I am confident that these Madrid players will get goals against Bilbao, who really did look to have the stuffing knocked out of them last week despite three goals of their own.
Falcao’s lethal finishing in or around the penalty area means he’s always a good shout to score at anytime. Back him as first goal scorer for a worthwhile bet.
Bilbao have retained Iker Muniain this summer and the young striker will take on a greater role of importance at the club moving forward.
It’s unlikely we’ll see him take up a central role in the side, with his best work coming from his ability to roam across the field between the midfield and opposition defence.
Bilbao also have other good players in the squad who are capable of snatching a win on the night. Oscar De Marcos is hard working and Ander Herrera is the creative spark. However, Bielsa’s side can be extremely vulnerable at the back.
Given the potential frailties of both teams, a draw in this match seems the best option for a bet. But with both Madrid and Bilbao needing to come away with a win, expect goals.
Atletico Madrid v Athletic Bilbao Betting Tips Advice
- We expect a close game with goals from both sides. Back the draw at best odds of 3/1 with Bet365 & BetVictor.
- Bet on the lethal Falcao to be first goalscorer at biggest price of 10/3 with Bet365 & Stan James.