The 25th matchday in the Spanish La Liga will be played this weekend. The Basque regional derby Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Sociedad will take place on Sunday at 21:00. Thus, the eighth and the sixth meet, with the Leones and the Txuri-urdines taking 34 and 38 points respectively. Juan Martínez is in charge of the match at the Estadio de San Mamés.
Athletic Bilbao suffered a 2-3 at 15th-placed RCD Mallorca on 14 February. This snapped a run of four unbeaten games in which the Leones won three times. On that occasion, Marcelino García’s side’s only loss of points came in a 0-0 at another regional rival, Deportivo Alavés. Thereafter, there were first a 1-0 at Rayo Vallecano and a 2-1 home win against RCD Espanyol.
For Real Sociedad, this regional derby comes between the matches against RB Leipzig in the play-off for the Europa League knockout round. The first leg at the fourth-placed team in the Bundesliga on Thursday saw Imanol Alguacil’s team draw 2-2. Four days earlier, the Txuri-urdines celebrated a 2-0 home win against fourth-bottom Granada. This marked their return to winning ways after two 0-0 at home against Getafe and at Valencia.
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What speaks for Athletic Bilbao?
- The home advantage
- Won three of their four championship matches before the defeat at Mallorca
- Did not play a match during the week and therefore focused exclusively on this derby
What speaks for Real Sociedad?
- Unbeaten in four La Liga appearances with two wins and as many draws
- Have not conceded any goals in those matches
- Has fewer absentees to overcome
Our betting tip:
- Bet: Both teams to score goals – No
- Bookmaker: Betway
- Odds: 1.83
Expert analysis Athletic Bilbao
At the end of the 24th matchday, Athletic Bilbao suffered a 2-3 away defeat against RCD Mallorca on Monday. Here, the 15th from the Balearic Islands were leading 2-0 after half an hour. The Leones equalized thanks to a double strike by Raúl García (59th) and Álex Berenguer (61st). But just before the final whistle, goalkeeper Unai Simón shattered the fightback with an incredible own goal.
This broke Athletic Bilbao’s positive streak of four unbeaten league games. To be precise, Marcelino García’s team won three times and drew 0-0 at Deportivo Alavés in between.
After the draw at the third-bottom team from the Basque capital Vitoria-Gasteiz, the Leones initially achieved two successes in La Liga. Here, they celebrated a 1-0 at eleventh-placed Rayo Vallecano and a 2-1 in front of their own crowd against 13th-placed RCD Espanyol.
From today’s perspective, Marcelino García will be without four players for the Basque regional derby Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Sociedad. Two of them, right-backs Ander Capa and Óscar de Marcos contracted COVID-19. Additionally, central midfielder Unai Vencedor and attacking player Nico Williams are injured.
Expert analysis Real Sociedad
For the visitors, the Basque regional derby Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad falls between the matches against RB Leipzig in the play-off for the Europa League Europa League knockout round. The first of these took place on 17 February at the Saxons and ended 2-2.
Imanol Alguacil’s team took the lead in the eighth minute thanks to Robin Le Normand. After Christopher Nkunku equalized in the 30th minute, Mikel Oyarzabal converted a penalty in the 64th minute. However, Emil Forsberg managed to draw level for the fourth-placed team in the Bundesliga in the final phase using the same method.
In La Liga, Real Sociedad most recently conceded a goal in a 1-1 away draw against Deportivo Alavés at the beginning of January. The Txuri-urdines then before the international break recorded at home a 1-0 against tenth-placed Celta de Vigo and a 0-0 against fifth-bottom Getafe. This was followed so far by another goalless draw at twelfth-placed Valencia and a 2-0 home win over fourth-last-placed Granada on 13 February.
After a huge cluster around the turn of the year, Real Sociedad seem to be spared from COVID-19 at the moment. The other side of the coin is that there are two long-term injuries in left-back Nacho Monreal and striker Carlos Fernández. Moreover, with Ander Barrenetxea another offensive player is not fit for action.
Head-to-head comparison Athletic Bilbao – Real Sociedad
The first Basque regional derby Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Sociedad in La Liga 2021/2022 took place on 31 October. The Leones and the Txuri-urdines drew 1-1, with Iker Muniain equalizing for the home side in the 91st minute.
Last season, the teams played each other three times. Athletic Bilbao first experienced two 0-1 home defeats against Real Sociedad in La Liga and the Copa del Rey. They then drew 1-1 away, whereby again the Txuri-urdines equalized immediately before the final whistle with Roberto López.
Our betting tip and the best odds
Before the regional Basque derby, Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Madrid, both teams seemed to be unbeaten for five championship games. Then Unai Simón’s own goal in the final phase on Mallorca stopped the Leones’ streak. Consequently, we recommend against three-way bets.
In contrast, we do not expect both teams to net. Real Sociedad didn’t concede a goal in any of their last four La Liga appearances so far. On the one hand, the Txuri-urdines faced teams ranked below Athletic Bilbao. And on the other one, Celta de Vigo and Valencia respectively picked up three and four points less than the Leones. Furthermore, two results of the home side, the 0-0 at Deportivo Alavés and the 1-0 at Rayo Vallecano, underpin our tip.
Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Sociedad – betting tip: Both teams score goals – No, odds 1.83 at bookmaker Betway