Athletic Bilbao vs Atletico Madrid
San Mames Barria, Bilbao
Sunday, 14-06-2020 @3pm
Ref: Jose Gonzalez
Sixth placed Atletico Madrid re-start their 2019/20 La Liga campaign from an unusually low position in the table, and a tough away assignment at Athletic Club should provide another stern test to their Champions League qualification aspirations.
Diego Simeone’s men signed off before the postponement of club football across the continent with a dramatic 3-2 win at Anfield to eliminate current European champions Liverpool from this year’s iteration of the tournament.
However, that triumph as the visiting team was a rare high moment in what has been a largely poor season on the road for Los Colchoneros.
In total, Atletico managed to win just three of their last 16 away fixtures in all competitions since October last year, and the usually consistent club from the capital have won just three times on their travels in La Liga overall this term.
Atletico’s troubles have largely been rooted in their lack of attacking thrust, and goalscoring has been a priority problem that Simeone just can’t seem to solve.
Despite having players like Joao Felix, Alvaro Morata, Angel Correa and Diego Costa at their disposal, Atletico have averaged just 1.14 goals per 90 minutes in the league in 2019/20, though that average drops further to just 0.84 when you analyse their away games.
Unsurprisingly, due to the team’s defensive strength, under 2.5 goals were scored in a huge 11 of the 13 away matches that Atletico have contested in La Liga since August – and we think their first game back at Athletic Club has all the makings of another tense, tight affair.
Real Madrid vs Eibar
Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
Sunday, 14-06-2020 @8:30pm
Ref: Guillermo Cuardra
Madrid have inexplicably struggled against Real Betis on several occasions over the past few seasons and that trend continued at Benito Villamarin on Matchday 27 just before the campaign’s enforced postponement.
A week on from besting main rivals Barcelona 2-0 in El Clasico to take control of the title race, Los Blancos threw away their lead at the top of La Liga and were made to pay for a lacklustre showing in Andalusia as goals from Sidnei and Tello secured a 2-1 win for Los Verdiblancos; their third victory over Real in the last six meetings between the pair.
The result means that Los Blancos are back chasing again and they go into Matchday 28 two points down on Barca, following their 1-0 success against Real Sociedad last Saturday. With Barca favourites to claim a three point haul against Mallorca this weekend, Zinedine Zidane’s charges simply have to beat Eibar here to stay on terms.
Their El Clasico victory aside, Real’s recent form doesn’t inspire too much confidence as they have now won just one of their last five games in all competitions. Nonetheless, Los Blancos are unbeaten at home in La Liga this season (W9, D4) and they have been extremely solid defensively, keeping seven clean sheets and conceding just nine goals in total.
Madrid should be able to transfer that excellent home record from the Bernabéu to the the Alfredo Di Stéfano stadium this weekend, and spells bad news for Eibar, who have won just one of their 13 outings on the road this term, losing seven. Los Armeros have failed to score in four of their last five away fixtures, so it’s difficult to envisage them causing Los Blancos too many problems in attack.
Eibar’s overall recent form has been poor to say the least. Their 1-2 defeat at home to Real Sociedad directly before the campaign’s temporary cancellation was their fourth loss in five, a run which has seen them dragged into the relegation mire.
Jose Luis Mendilibar’s men have just two points to spare over 18th placed Mallorca, meaning they will also have a vested interest in Saturday’s aforementioned clash between Mallorca and Barca at Son Moix.
Real Madrid are unbeaten in 13 home La Liga matches this season, winning nine and drawing four. Los Blancos have conceded just nine goals in total at the Bernabeu this term, keeping seven clean sheets. Eibar have lost four out of their last five La Liga games. The visitors have won just one of their 13 outings on the road this season, losing seven. Los Armeros have also failed to score in four of their last five away games.
Real Sociedad vs Osasuna
Reale Arena, San Sebastian
Sunday, 14-06-2020 @11pm
Ref: Adrian Cordero
Sociedad were in superb form before the 2019/20 La Liga season was postponed in March, and with a top four finish the target, the Txuri-urdinak will be desperate to ensure that the three-month break away from football won’t knock them off their stride too much.
In the lead up to the campaign’s temporary hiatus, Imanol Alguacil’s exciting Real team had won an impressive 10 of their 12 games in all competitions – a sequence that included a seven-match winning streak at home.
With Martin Odegaard, Mikel Merino and Mikel Oyarzabal all excelling, Real have developed into one of the best teams to watch in the Spanish top flight, and with a place in the Copa del Rey final also in the bank for themselves, 2019/20 is shaping up to be one of their most successful seasons in recent memory.
On Sunday, Real Sociedad look good value to pick up where they left off at home to regional rivals Osasuna – a team they have already beaten twice this term.
Sociedad first ousted their local competitors in a thrilling 4-3 win in the reverse La Liga meeting between the pair in November, before putting them to the sword 3-1 in the cup at San Sebastián two months later.
With their grip on 4th spot still relatively loose and with little room for error, Real will need to beat Osasuna for a third time to keep their Champions League qualification pursuit heading in the right direction – and we’re tipping them to secure the victory they need.
Osasuna in 11th, are safely locked in mid-table limbo and away from the threat of relegation, though their return of just three wins from 12 La Liga fixtures since December still represents a poor haul and highlights the current gulf in class between our featured teams.
The other Spanish La Liga match-day 28 fixtures
Results on Match-day 28 so far
-Sevilla 2-0 Real Betis
-Granada 2-1 Getafe
-Valencia 1-1 Levante
-Espanyol 2-0 Alaves
-Celta Vigo 0-1 Villarreal
-Leganes 1-2 Valladolid
-Mallorca 0-4 Barcelona