Atletico Madrid will look to maintain their lead at the top of La Liga when they host Athletic Bilbao on Saturday at 3.15pm (UK time).
Diego Simeone’s men have 38 points after 15 games, leaving them two and seven points clear of Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, with two games in hand over both. Athletic Bilbao’s campaign, meanwhile, can best be described as ‘inconsistent’ with the Basque club in ninth place with 21 points from 18 games.
Where to watch Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao on TV:
- UK: LaLigaTV
- US: beIN SPORTS
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Scoreline prediction: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Athletic Bilbao
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Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Although sitting pretty at the top of the table, Atletico will want to quickly banish the memory of their midweek Copa del Rey embarrassment at the hands of third-tier Cornella, with Simeone’s side falling to a shock 1-0 defeat against the Catalan club. Even so, Los Colchoneros are enjoying a four-game winning streak in La Liga and are unlikely to be deterred by their midweek cup exit.
Athletic Bilbao, meanwhile, are still adjusting to life under new manager, Marcelino. The Basque club lost their first game under the Spaniard, going down 3-2 at home to Barcelona on Wednesday. That said, they put in a spirited performance against Lionel Messi and Co and can be optimistic about what is in store throughout the rest of this season.
- Atletico Madrid (vs Cornella): San Roman; Sendra, Gimenez*, Felipe, Lodi; Saul, Torreira, Kondogbia, Vitolo; Correa, Felix.
- Athletic Bilbao (vs Barcelona): Simon; Capa, Nunez, Martinez, Berchiche*; De Marcos, Vencedor, Vesga, Munain; Garcia, Williams.
Kieran Trippier’s ban has been suspended, meaning he is once again available for action. Joao Felix picked up a knock against Cornella in midweek but is expected to feature. Jose Gimenez and Hector Herrera are doubts.
Yuri Berchiche is expected to miss out with a hamstring injury picked up against Barcelona last time out, while Marcelino will also be without Peru Nolaskoain, Yeray Alvarez and Unai Lopez.
Player to watch: Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)
If anything, the loss to Cornella in midweek only shone a light on the true importance of Luis Suarez to this Atletico Madrid side, with the La Liga leaders firing off 15 shots without hitting the target once.
The veteran Uruguay international has been in sensational form since arriving from Barcelona in the summer, netting nine goals in 12 La Liga appearances. Not only is that the joint-highest amount in the Spanish top-flight, it also represents 31% of Atletico’s goals in the competition so far this season.
Suarez has seven goals and four assists to his name across 15 career appearances against Bilbao. Given that he’s currently enjoying a run of four goals and an assist in his last four outings, he’ll certainly be confident of adding to those impressive tallies here.
La Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Atletico Madrid: WWWWL
- Athletic Bilbao: LWLDW
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