Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid Prediction: La Liga | 22.01.2023

Trailing their Catalan rivals by three points, Real Madrid will seek to bounce back to winning ways when they travel to the San Mames Barria on Sunday to face Athletic Bilbao at 20:00 GMT.


Bilbao will be looking to halt their three-match winless run in La Liga by causing an upset at home against the champions. Ancelotti and his charges will be looking to put the 2-1 defeat away to Villarreal behind them with a win against their Basque hosts. 

Key Highlights

Athletic Club Winless Run

Ernesto Valverde’s side have picked up just two points from their last three matches. The two draws away to Real Betis (0-0) and at home to Osasuna (0-0) underscored the challenge facing Athletic. 

Although they can keep clean sheets, their attack needs to have the potency to break down teams, which has halted their momentum in La Liga.

Valverde will focus on sharpening his side’s attack to cause problems for Real Madrid’s defense on Sunday.  

Los Blancos Consistency Issues

Inconsistencies have halted Real Madrid’s title defense in performances and results. Los Blancos have won just twice in their last five La Liga assignments. This means that they have collected 7 points from the available 15.

This run of inconsistent form has seen them drop from the top of the table, and they now trail Barcelona by three points after 16 rounds of matches.

Ancelotti will be looking to arrest this bumpy form, steady the team’s showings, and start collecting maximum points sooner rather than later as they pressure the league leaders.

This will be the emphasis when Los Blancos face Athletic at the San Mames on Sunday. 

Injury Report

Athletic Bilbao

Valverde will be without center-back Iñigo Martínez for the clash with Real Madrid. The 31-year-old is sidelined with a foot injury he suffered early on January 2nd. He has missed 4 matches so far, and no return date has been set.

The rest of the squad is available and at Valverde’s disposal, which is a massive boon for the gaffer as he plots a way to stop Los Blancos and get something from the game. 

Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti will be without the services of center-back David Alaba. The 30-year-old is nursing a muscle injury since January 9th, which has kept him out of 3 of Los Blanco’s assignments so far. 

Real Madrid will also be without the services of defensive midfielder Aurélien Tchouameni in the clash with Athletic on Sunday. The French international has also been facing a muscle injury since January 9th; he has missed three outings for Los Blancos, and no return date has been set.


Possible Lineups

Athletic Bilbao

J. Agirrezabala; O. de Marcos, D. Vivian, Y. Alvarez, Y. Berchiche; O. Zarraga, M. Vesga; N. Williams, O. Sancet, Alex Berenguer, G. Guruzeta

Real Madrid

T. Courtois; D. Carvajal, E. Militao, A. Rudiger, F. Mendy; L. Modric, E. Camavinga, T. Kroos; F. Valverde, K. Benzema, V. Junior


Athletic Bilbao will look to impose their high-tempo and high-energy style on Real Madrid. However, they will employ a medium to low press to ensure that they minimize the spaces behind their defensive line that can be exploited by the pace possessed by Los Blancos.

Valverde will prioritize organization, structure, and solidity for his side as they look to nullify the Real Madrid firepower. They will then leverage their pace on the break to hurt their opponent.

Ancelotti’s side will seek to play their usual dominant game. They will boss the ball and territory as they look to move the ball quicker and put Athletic under pressure. 

Real Madrid will bounce back to winning form and take the three points from the San Mames on Sunday. 

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