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Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad Prediction and Tips

Dumitru Palanchuk
Dumitru Palanchuk
11 January 2024, 09:23

Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad Preview

With the Spanish giants involved in the Super Cup tournament in Saudi Arabia, this weekend’s biggest fixture in La Liga will be the Basque derby. On Saturday, January 13, Athletic Bilbao are set to host Real Sociedad at San Mames. The kick-off is scheduled for 6:30 pm local time.

Both Basque teams are contenders for UEFA Champions League football next term, but as you will see in our Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad prediction, the hosts are more likely to achieve it this season. At the same time, this is the perfect opportunity for the visitors to improve their position in the league table.

Athletic Bilbao Preview

The Lions are currently placed fourth in La Liga with 38 points after 19 matches. Ernesto Valverde's men are tied on points with fifth-placed Atletico Madrid but have a better goal difference. To be exact, Athletic Bilbao have scored 36 goals and conceded 19 this campaign so far.

In terms of recent form, Athletic boast four wins and one draw in the last five La Liga encounters. They have not lost in the league since the 1-0 defeat to Barcelona back in October.

The list of absentees will be crucial for the Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad tips. Thus, the hosts are set to miss Yeray Alvarez and Dani Garcia through injury. Furthermore, top goalscorer Inaki Williams is away on international duty with Ghana.

Real Sociedad Preview

Real Sociedad were one of the better teams in La Liga in 2022/23 and qualified for UEFA Champions League football for the first time in almost 10 years. However, Immano Alguacil’s side have found it hard playing on two fronts and are currently just sixth in the standings with 32 points. This term so far, the team from San Sebastian has scored 30 and conceded 19 goals in La Liga.

The recent form is not in La Real’s favour, as they recorded four draws and one win in recent weeks. At the same time, they beat Athletic 3-0 at home back in September.

The visitors will miss Andre Silva and Martin Merquelsanz through injury while Umar Sadiq and Takefusa Kubo have been called up by their national teams. With all things considered, the Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad odds are predictably backing the hosts.

Betting Tips Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad

Under 2.5 goals

The Basque derby is always an interesting watch because of the passion involved, but that passion does not always translate into scoring opportunities and goals. Thus, our first Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad prediction is under 2.5 goals, with Bet365 offering 1.66 odds on it.

The numbers back up our expectations perfectly. Starting with the hosts, there have been three goals or more in just one of their latest five La Liga games – the 4-0 win over Rayo Vallecano. La Real have a much better defence and are unlikely to concede as many.

Real Sociedad have been a fairly conservative team as well with one high-scoring game in recent weeks – the 3-0 win over Villarreal. With Take Kubo away for the AFC Asian Cup, they will find it very hard creating scoring opportunities at San Mames, especially against such a solid backline.

Over 8 corners

While the match on Saturday may be short on clear-cut scoring opportunities, we do expect a significant number of corner kicks. The odds on over 8 corner kicks stand at 1.53 on Bet365.

Real Sociedad play a possession-based style of football and we expect them to spend more time on the ball on Saturday despite being the away team. This scenario may be perfect for the hosts too, who are very good on the counter, attacking vertically through the wings and then crossing the ball into the box.

With La Real struggling to find spaces behind Athletic’s backline and the hosts often relying on crosses, it should result in a big number of corner kicks. The stats confirm our expectations, as there have been at least eight corners in the last four out of five La Liga games for both Basque sides.

Athletic Bilbao win

While a lot of positive things can be said about Real Sociedad’s campaign so far, their recent performances have been on the underwhelming side. Their rivals, on the other hand, are enjoying an incredible couple of months, and we expect that to continue with a win at San Mames. Bet365 give 2.00 odds on Athletic Bilbao coming out victorious on Saturday.

With Atletico Madrid and Barcelona involved in the Spanish Super Cup, Ernesto Valverde’s team can temporarily climb to the third spot in La Liga with a win in the derby. And if that is not enough motivation, the Lions will certainly want revenge against their rivals following the 3-0 defeat at the start of the season.

Real Sociedad have been struggling for points even against weaker rivals. With the team’s main attacking threat gone, things may get even worse for Alguacil in coming months. 

Please remember to always gamble responsibly. Our Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad tips are only suggestions, not a call to action. Always rely on your own judgement in the end.