Atletico Madrid vs Athletic BilbaoLa Liga, KO: 18:00 Mar 10, 2021, Wanda Metropolitno
LA LIGA leaders Atletico Madrid have faltered in recent weeks and this midweek meeting with Athletic Bilbao is a crucial fixture for Diego Simeone's men.
The capital club appeared to be in total control of the title race, but a run of just two wins from their last six league matches has offered a lifeline to the chasing pack.
Last time out, a late Karim Benzema equaliser in the Madrid derby prevented Atleti from moving five points clear at the summit of the standings.
However, Simeone's side will have another opportunity to strengthen their position at the top of the table when Athletic Bilbao come to town, with this match acting as Atletico Madrid's game in hand over their title rivals.
Athletic Bilbao have undergone a marked improvement since Marcelino (above) took charge at the turn of the year and the visitors head into this clash off the back of a 2-1 win over Granada.
That latest triumph means that the Basque outfit have lost just 2/15 matches under the Brazilian's watch, both of which were against in-form Barcelona.
Atletico Madrid have avoided defeat in 36 of their last 38 La Liga matches and the host are heavily fancied here at 4/5 with Bet 365.
Athletic Bilbao have lost 10 of their last 11 away matches at Atletico Madrid and the bookies odds suggest that sequence is set to extended with an away win priced up at 17/4 with Bet 365 and the draw is trading at 9/4 with TonyBet.
Atletico Madrid are unsurprisingly big favourites to get back to winning ways on Wednesday night but I suspect this contest could be closer than the odds suggest.
I'll therefore steer clear of the match result market and instead head to Bet 365's Bet Builder to combine over zero Atletico Madrid goals, over zero Atletico Madrid cards and over three Athletic Bilbao corners, an eye-catching 21/20 angle.
With both Barcelona and Real Madrid hot on their heels, Atletico Madrid can ill-afford another slip-up this midweek and I fancy the hosts to hit the back of the net at least once when they come up against a brittle Bilbao backline that have bagged just one clean sheet in their last 15 matches across all competitions.
What's more, Atleti have scored in 21/25 of their Spanish top-flight tussles this term, not to mention they are La Liga's second-top scorers on the back of Luis Suarez's Indian summer – the Uruguayan notched another goal against Real Madrid on Sunday.
In order to boost the Bet Builder price up to 21/20 (Bet 365) I'll throw in at least one Atletico Madrid card – Simeone's warriors are averaging 2.72 yellows per game this season and they have gone into the book at least twice in each of their last 13 La Liga outings.
I'll complete the Bet Builder by backing attack-minded Athletic Bilbao to hit four or more corners during this dust-up – Marcelino's men are averaging 5.52 flag kicks per 90 this season and they have racked up six or more corners in each of their last five league matches.
Given that Atletcio Madrid's defensive standards have slipped recently I reckon value could lie with the 13/10 on offer with SportNation for both teams to get on the scoresheet on Wednesday night.
Both teams have obliged in seven of Atleti's last nine league games and BTTS backers would have been rewarded in 14 of Athletic Bilbao's last 15 matches in all competitions.
This La Liga match between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao will be played on Mar 10, 2021 and kick off at 18:00. Check below for our tipsters best Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.