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Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Prediction & Betting Tips

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            Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Prediction & Betting Tips

            The biggest game in La Liga EA Sports this weekend is the clash on Sunday between the league leaders and the side occupying the final qualification spot for Champions League football. Real Madrid will be hoping to consolidate their position at the top, whilst Athletic Bilbao will be hoping to cause an upset to maintain their top four chances.

            Date: 31/03/2024

            Location: Santiago Bernabeu

            Kick-off time: 20:00 pm

            Los Blancos have been back to their brilliant best this season, in comparative to last season in the league. The home side look on course to regain the league title from their biggest rivals FC Barcelona and record their 36th La Liga triumph. Real Madrid have an eight point lead over Barcelona with nine games to go and they boast an 18 goal advantage in the goal difference.

            The hosts have obtained 72 points from 29 games this season and have only lost once this season which was in a 3-1 score-line against local rivals Atletico Madrid. Since the defeat against Atletico, Carlo Ancelotti’s side are unbeaten in their last 24 league games.

            It is to no surprise that the league leaders have been proficient in both offensive and defensive areas of the pitch. Real have scored 64 goals in the league this season and are the top goal contributors in the league – averaging 2.2 goals a game – this is despite losing talisman Karim Benzema last summer.

            Defensively they’ve been extremely reliable having only conceded 20 goals and an average conceded of 0.6 goals a game. It is worth noting that their goalkeepers do not feature in the top listing of clean sheets, however that is down to injury related issues. Kepa Arrizabalaga – on loan from Chelsea – has the greatest number of clean sheets for Real Madrid with six in 12 appearances.

            As for the visitors, Bilbao will be hoping to end the weekend still remaining in that fourth and last qualifying spot for the Champions League. The club who are well known for their Basque only transfer policy, have a one-point advantage over Atletico Madrid – who play Villarreal at home.

            Bilbao are under the tenure of returning manager Ernesto Valverde. Valverde spent four years at San Mames from 2013 -2017 and achieved the Supercopa De Espana in 2014. He has since won a further league and cup double with FC Barcelona in the 2017-18 season. Valverde returned to Bilbao in 2022 for his third spell.

            This campaign has been an enjoyable one for the away side. Whilst they are firmly in the hunt for the opportunity to embark on Champions League football next season, Valverde has guided Athletic Bilbao to a Copa Del Ray final where they will be classed as the favourites against Mallorca.

            The away side’s defensive record will be put the test against the top scorers in the league. Valverde’s side have conceded 26 goals in 29 games – conceding on average 0.89 goals per game. Goalkeeper Unai Simon has been tremendous in the defensive stability of the side. The Spanish international has 15 clean sheets in 29 games and boasts a 51% save percentage.

            The previous meeting between the two sides resulted in a victory for Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid side thanks to goals from Rodrygo and Jude Bellingham. Since 2003, the two sides have played each other 46 times with Real Madrid victorious on no less than 36 occasions. In that time the hosts have scored 102 goals past their visiting opponents, with an average of 2.2 points per game during this time.

            La Liga Tips

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            Jude Bellingham to Score First @ 4/1
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            La Liga Tips

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            Luka Modric to Score From Outside the Box @ 12/1
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            La Liga Tips

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            Real Madrid to win & Over 2.5 Goals @ 5/4
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            Team News

            Real Madrid Team News

            Real Madrid will be without Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba who are out until the end of the season and beyond. Vinicius Junior will be unavailable due to an accumulation of yellow cards and therefore is suspended.

            Athletic Bilbao Team News

            Yuri Berchiche and Ander Herrera will be unavailable for Athletic Bilbao through hamstring injuries respectively. The huge worry for the away side is the amount of suspension risks with up to six players potentially one card away from being suspended. This includes Nico Williams who was recently linked with a summer move to Chelsea.

            Recent form

            As previously mentioned, Los Blancos are unbeaten in their last 24 games in the league. In those 24 games, they have picked up 52 points from a possible 72 available. In that period, they have won 16 and drawn the remaining eight.

            In their last five league games, they have managed to obtain 11 points from a possible 15 – winning three from their last five games. In the midst of this, they have also progressed to the next stages of the Champions League. An aggregate win over RB Leipzig bought them a tie against current holders Manchester City.

            Bilbao’s defence will be wary of the fact that Real Madrid have scored 12 goals in their last five games – averaging roughly 2.5 goals a game. A key component to their success is undoubtedly the impact of Jude Bellingham.

            Bellingham, who was the subject of a transfer battle between Los Blancos and Liverpool, has been a revelation for Carlo Ancelotti. Bellingham is currently the top scorer in the league having scored 16 goals in 22 appearances – an average of 0.77 goals a game. In total the Birmingham born midfielder, has 19 G/A contributions and will likely be a point of focus after the international break.

            The visitors have every reason they could find a chink in the Madrid armour, having been undefeated in the last four games in all competitions. In their last league game, they produced a professional performance against Alaves resulting in a 2-0 win. With that win it recorded their second consecutive clean sheet.

            The hosts will have to be made aware of Bilbao forward Gorka Guruzeta. Guruzeta has 13 goals in the league and with that 16 G/A contributions. The 27-year-old was on hand to record a brace in their most recent win over Alaves.

            Footy Accumulators Prediction

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            Team logoReal Madrid
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            Last updated 17/04/2024

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            Team logoAthletic Club
            Team logoReal Sociedad
            Last updated 17/04/2024

            Where to Watch

            Real Madrid versus Athletic Club will be broadcasted live on Viaplay Sports 1.