Basque rivals meet in an early Primera Division fixture, and no concessions will be made by either sides as they are chasing different goals. Athletic Bilbao are dangerously close to the relegation zone and any false steps might further aggravate their mission of remaining in the Primera Division at the end of the season.
Match: Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad
Bet: Athletic Bilbao
Odds: Pinnacle Sports 2.32
Long term absentees Inigo Perez and Inigo Ruiz will be joined on the bench by Muniain and Ekiza as the two midfielders picked up injuries in the previous games. The defense is intact, but somehow this is the area where something needs to be changed quickly, as Athletic Bilbao is conceding a surprisingly high number of goals. The recent defeat to Espanyol caused a lot of tension and coach Bielsa needs to turn things around fast if he is to avoid sacking.
Real Sociedad lost just once in the last 15 games, a narrow 4-3 defeat to Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu and are contemplating another European Cup berth. While they are still within striking distance to a forth place that could send them to the Champions League playoffs, the visitors have their sights locked on Europa League. Past performance in Bilbao is not encouraging, as Sociedad lost 7 games and only won twice, so they won’t aim beyond a draw tonight.
Athletic Bilbao is not the kind of team to be taken lightly even when struggling defensively, because home pitch advantage is a catalyst for players. Their bitter rivalry with Real Sociedad turns this otherwise uninteresting game into a derby and makes a home win wager quite tempting. The odds currently stand at 2.32 with Pinnacle, but they will probably drop as the kick off draws near.