Prediction: Real Sociedad vs Athletic Bilbao

January 12, 2023


Verdict: Real Sociedad draw no bet

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

Two sides who have their sights set on clinching a European finish this season, Real Sociedad will welcome Athletic Bilbao to the Anoeta Stadium on Saturday night.

Real Sociedad

Starting with the hosts, marking their return to La Liga duties on New Year’s Eve with a routine 2-0 victory at home against Osasuna, Real Sociedad have continued to impress many across Spain this season. Opening up this weekend’s fixtures sat third in the table and in pole position to clinch a Champions League return in 2023, Imanol Alguacil’s men will be looking to lay down another marker on Saturday night. Winning each of their previous four domestic matchups across all formats since returning from the World Cup break, Sociedad have lost just a pair of their last 11 straight La Liga showdowns. With that run stemming all the way back to September 11th, Alguacil’s side will also be excited by their largely rugged record on home soil. Including their 2-0 win against Osasuna last month, it should be noted that La Real have suffered just a single defeat from their previous seven La Liga battles at the Anoeta Stadium.

Team News

Real Sociedad are hopeful that both Benat Turrientes and Mohamed-Ali Cho will be able to make their returns on Saturday night.

However, Alguacil’s side will once again be without the trio of Umar Sadiq, Martin Merquelanz and Alex Sola this weekend.

Athletic Bilbao

As for the visitors, although Athletic Bilbao might also be enjoying their own unbeaten run since returning from the World Cup break, Ernesto Valverde’s men do have the feel of a squad seeking some much-needed stability in 2023. While Los Rojiblancos might have a European return at the top of their wishlist this season, the former Barcelona boss has seen his side win just a pair of their previous nine La Liga showdowns. With that run stemming all the way back to September 30th, Saturday’s guests will take some solace from their rugged displays at the back. Despite now having to settle for back-to-back 0-0 stalemates against Osasuna and Real Betis since returning from the festive interval, it should be highlighted that Bilbao have recorded a top-flight clean sheet in four of their previous five outings. However, showing some extended issues outside of Basque Country, Valverde’s side will know that they face a tough challenge here.

Team News

Still suffering with a foot injury, Bilbao look set to once again be without defender Inigo Martinez on Saturday night.

With Valverde potentially looking to make a handful of changes this weekend, the likes of Raul Garcia will be hoping for a full recall here.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides last faced off on La Liga duties 11 months ago, Athletic Bilbao picked up a 4-0 romp on home soil.
  • However, Saturday’s guests have won just a pair of their last nine La Liga showdowns on either side of the World Cup break.
  • Real Sociedad have lost just a pair of their last 11 straight La Liga outings – a run that stems back to September 11th.
  • Including back-to-back 0-0 stalemates against Osasuna and Real Betis, Bilbao have kept a clean sheet in four of their last five La Liga matchups.
  • Each of the last four La Liga meetings between Sociedad and Bilbao at the Anoeta Stadium have finished with under 3.5 goals.

Conclusion

Marking their return from the World Cup break with back-to-back 2-0 victories against Almeria and Osasuna, Real Sociedad will be desperate to keep up their Champions League charge this weekend. Now suffering just a pair of La Liga defeats since September 11th, Saturday’s hosts will be looking to cash in on an Athletic Bilbao squad who have shown some extended inconsistencies. Yet to pick up a top-flight win since returning from the festive interval, Los Rojiblancos have also snatched just a pair of La Liga victories from their previous nine attempts. Failing to record a single win at the Anoeta Stadium since March 2017, we’re backing a home draw no bet here.

Verdict: Real Sociedad draw no bet 

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet