Rivals Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad go head-to-head in a highly-anticipated Basque derby on Thursday at 1pm (UK time).
This is the 147th La Liga meeting between these two fierce rivals, with Athletic Club emerging triumphant 59 times to date. Real Sociedad are behind on 50 league wins but claimed victory in four of their last five meetings.
Where to watch Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad on TV:
- UK: LaLigaTV
- US: beIN Sports
How to live stream Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad online:
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Scoreline prediction: Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Real Sociedad
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Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
These two old enemies couldn’t be in much worse form heading into this derby clash. Giazka Garitano’s Bilbao side are stuck down in 10th place in the La Liga table with just five wins from 15 games so far. They have struggled for goals, netting just 18 so far, and are enduring a run of just one win in their last six.
Things have been even worse for Imanol Alguacil’s Sociedad recently, however. After a fine start to the season which saw them regularly topping the table, La Real have lost their last three games and failed to win any of their last nine outings across all competitions (six draws). As a result, Sociedad have slipped to six points adrift of joint-leaders Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, with the likes of Villarreal and Barcelona holding games in hand below them.
- Athletic Bilbao (vs Villarreal): Simon; Capa, Alvarez, Martinez, Berchiche; Vencedor, Vesga; De Marcos, Munain, Berenguer; Williams.
- Real Sociedad (vs Atletico Madrid): Remiro; Gorosabel, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Monreal; Merino, Zubimendi; Portu, Silva, Barrenetxea; Willian Jose.
Peru Nolaskoain is the only confirmed absentee for Bilbao, with Asier Villalibre returning from injury in the week. Alex Berenguer should be good to feature after missing training.
Adnan Januzaj and Luca Sangalli are both out but Mikel Oyarzabal is fully fit and should return to the starting line-up.
Players to watch:
- Athletic Bilbao: Goals have been a real problem for Bilbao so far this season. Although their total of 18 is the seventh-highest in the division, many of the teams just below them have played fewer games. The presence of a consistent threat in the box has been a contributing factor, with Inaki Williams the only Bilbao player with more than two league goals to their name so far this season. The 26-year-old forward has netted three times, including the opening goal in a 1-1 draw with Villarreal in his last outing, while he also happens to be one of Bilbao’s biggest creative outlets, providing two assists in 2020/21,only Yuri Berchiche (3) has more. Only SD Amorebieta (7) have conceded more goals at the hands of Williams than Sociedad (3), highlighting just how reliant Bilbao will be on their chief marksman on Thursday.
- Real Sociedad: Alguacil’s side have had no such trouble in front of goal this season, with only Barcelona (28), Real Madrid (27) and Atletico Madrid (26) netting more than their 25. Key to that attacking form has been 23-year-old forward, Mikel Oyarzabal, whose projected return to the starting XI for this one couldn’t come at a better time. The 11-time Spain international has missed Sociedad’s last five La Liga matches, during which time his side have managed just two points and three goals. Oyarzabal has netted a team-high seven goals while he’s also chipped in with two assists (only Portu has more) proving just how important his goalscoring and creative exploits are to this team. He’ll be eager to make a successful return to action against Sociedad’s biggest rivals here.
La Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Athletic Bilbao: DWLDL
- Real Sociedad: LLLDD
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