By 90Min
February 17, 2018

Athletic Club travel to the Spanish capital on Sunday to take on Atlético de Madrid in a classic La Liga clash. Diego Simeone's team have built up a lot of steam coming into the match, winning five of their last six league matches.

Such form has seen Atléti extend their position in second to nine points over Valencia, as they remain the clear frontrunners to end Barcelona's dominance. The Madrid-based team come into the game with one foot in the quarter-final of the Europa League after defeating FC København on Thursday night.


Athletic also impressed in their Europe match with a resounding win over Spartak Moskva in Russia, but the picture looks unconvincing on the domestic front.

Several seasons of consistency could be threatened as Athletic e currently sit 13th in La Liga, seven points off fellow Basque side Eibar.

The Bilbao outfit have been in dire form with the three points over Deportivo Alavés their only win in six league matches, losing to Girona in the meantime.

Classic Encounter


With both clubs a big deal in Spain, memorable duels have been commonplace over the years. Atléti and Athletic met in the 2012 Europa League final, but, since then, los Colchoneros have dominated proceedings.

Last season's encounter at the San Mamés remains a standout encounter, however, with four goals shared in a thrilling draw.

Koke opened the scoring minutes into the match after his cross could not latch onto Antoine Griezmann, but deceived goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz. Raúl García came close to equalising against his former employers, but Iñigo Lekue fired home before the break after being given too much time in the box. 

Despite number one striker Aritz Aduriz not playing, Óscar de Marcos found a pocket of space to head home and gift Athletic the lead. But it was the visitors who got the last say as Antoine Griezmann found space to rifle in a late equaliser from outside the box and share the spoils.

Key Battle


Antoine Griezmann vs. Yeray Álvarez

With the opposing form, Atléti will be overwhelming favourites to pick up their fourth league win in a row. Los Rojiblancos still have the best defensive record in the league, but the attack will be the focus against vulnerable opposition. 

Antoine Griezmann is the club's top scorer, but with just eight goals in the league, he will need to improve upon that tally. Nevertheless, the Frenchman remains a formidable striker and the Basques will have to keep an eye out for his movement.

Of course, Athletic also have a statistically decent record in the backline, conceding the sixth fewest in the table, less than Sevilla and Valencia.

With Aymeric Laporte sold a matter of weeks ago, Athletic will look to another promising defender of theirs in Yeray Álvarez to keep Griezmann out, despite little game time this season.

Team News

Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages

Striker Diego Costa missed the trip to Denmark and could remain sidelined with a muscular injury sustained in the win over Malaga. Stefan Savić is likely to be another player to miss the match with a hamstring setback.

Diego Godín made his return in mid-week and played the entirety of the first leg against FC København.

Iker Muniain will remain out after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament tear at the start of the season, while left-back Mikel Balenziaga remains a doubt having not featured since mid-December.

Aritz Aduriz and Raúl García are one yellow card each away from a suspension.

Potential Atlético de Madrid Starting Lineup: Oblak, Vrsaljko, Godín, Giménez, F. Luís, Correa, Gabi, Saúl, Koke, Griezmann, Gameiro.

Potential Athletic Club Starting Lineup: Herrerín, de Marcos, Yeray, I. Martínez, Lekue, Iturraspe, M. Rico, Williams, R. García, Susaeta, Aduriz.



With the polarising form, Atléti are likely to romp to victory at the Wanda Metropolitano and have, unsurprisingly, conceded the fewest goals at home this season. 

Moreover, the team are unbeaten in the league on home soil, having won seven and drawn four.

Athletic will likely be pushed back by the onslaught of attacks in Castilla, but will take confidence from the fact they managed to pull off a draw against rivals Real Madrid back in December.

Prediction: Atlético de Madrid 3-0 Athletic Club

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