14 June 2020
Familiar foes will lock horns at the Estadio San Mamés this weekend, as Athletic Bilbao welcome Atletico Madrid in a potentially tight La Liga (LL) affair. Three of their last four top-flight H2Hs held here have ended separating the sides by under 1.5 goals.
The hosts had overseen an upturn in results before the coronavirus pandemic halted proceedings in Spain, going from four consecutive league defeats to two successive triumphs. Yet, at home, Los Leones have picked up just one victory in their last five league matches (D2, L2), scoring under 1.5 goals on all of those occasions. In turn, the Estadio San Mamés has not particularly been a venue of entertainment this season, as 11 of Bilbao’s 13 LL fixtures have featured under 2.5 goals. But, Gaizka Garitano can rely upon his rock-solid defense to deliver a positive outcome here, as his backline shipped only seven LL home goals so far this term, keeping a clean sheet seven times (league’s best record).
Meanwhile, the visitors have pulled off just two wins in their eight previous league matches (D4, L2), with five of those matches featuring under 2.5 goals. A series of poor results had seen Atletico tumble down to sixth before the pandemic brought the season to a halt, although they trail fourth-placed Real Sociedad by a single point ahead of the kick-off. However, Los Colchoneros head to Bilbao on a run of four consecutive LL away games without a win (D2, L2). What’s more, Diego Simeone’s men have notched up only 11 goals on the road this campaign, managing a miserly average of just 0.84 goals scored per LL away match.
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