Athletic Club vs Real Madrid - Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks

  • Real Madrid continues to do just about enough to stay in front in title race
  • Barcelona’s recent struggles mean Madrid is close to winning the championship
  • Athletic will not give an inch as it seeks a Europa League qualification spot
What Athletic Club vs Real Madrid
Where San Mames, Bilbao, Spain
When Sunday, 5 July 2020, 8 AM EST
How to watch beIN SPORTS

Getafe has been a tough nut to crack throughout Jose Bordalas’ time as manager, and Real Madrid were given a reminder of that fact on Thursday. Barcelona’s 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid two days earlier had given Zinedine Zidane’s men a golden chance to open up a comfortable cushion at the summit of the standings, but for a long time, Getafe refused to budge. As the clock ticked towards 90 minutes, it looked as if Madrid would be held to a 0-0 draw.

In the end, though, it found a way through. Sergio Ramos’ penalty with 11 minutes left to play earned Madrid all three points after a performance that was far from vintage. Yet Madrid did more than enough to emerge victorious, limiting Getafe to very few opportunities and creating several of its own. That was also the case last weekend when Madrid dominated its meeting with Espanyol yet only managed a 1-0 triumph.

The scorelines might not have been emphatic, but Madrid’s recent displays have demonstrated maturity and resilience that is lacking over at the Camp Nou. As such, Madrid is now close to getting its hands on the title; four points clear at the top and with a head-to-head advantage over Barcelona, it is difficult to envisage Zidane’s side being overhauled from here.

Nevertheless, a trip to San Mames is rarely straightforward, and Madrid’s lead may well have been cut back to one point by the time this game gets underway. Expect another low-scoring encounter up in the Basque country, where Athletic will be keen to dent Madrid’s title hopes while boosting its own chances of finishing in the top seven.

Athletic Club vs Real Madrid Odds

Match winner and total goals Odds
Real Madrid and Over 3.5 +360
Real Madrid and Under 3.5 +125
Athletic Club and Under 3.5 +475

Odds taken from BetMGM

If you’d like to learn more about BetMGM sportsbook, you can check out our detailed review right here!

Madrid has been grinding out results in recent weeks. It has won each of its last four games, and each of those has featured fewer than 3.5 goals.

Athletic, meanwhile, has the third-best defensive record in the division, so a narrow, low-scoring Madrid win looks likely.

Madrid’s Defense Looks Set to Carry It to the La Liga Title

In each of the last four seasons, the team with the best defensive record in La Liga has not ended the season as champion. That is partly because of the value Atletico Madrid places in keeping its sheets clean, but some onlookers have drawn the conclusion that attack is more important than defense in Spain’s top division.

Real Madrid look set to break that four-year run in the coming weeks. With just 21 goals conceded, it possesses a superior defensive record to title rival Barcelona with five games remaining, and it has even shipped fewer goals than Atletico. Barca has found the back of the net 13 times more than los Blancos, but the solidity shown by Zidane’s side looks set to carry it to the title.

It has not always been that way this season. Madrid had to wait until matchday five for its first clean sheet, and it conceded twice to Villarreal, Levante and Granada in the opening weeks. Yet the 1-0 victory over Getafe means that Madrid has conceded just two goals in six games since the restart.

Athletic Is Hard to Beat at Home and Will Not Make Life Easy for Madrid

There was a mixture of sadness and excitement when Athletic left its original San Mames stadium behind seven years ago. Built-in 1913, the ground was one of the most atmospheric and charming in Spanish soccer, and while supporters knew that moving to a more modern era would boost the club’s finances, they were still sad to see the old place go.

Yet after losing 11 home games last term, Athletic has become harder to beat again on its own patch. Going to the old San Mames was always a tough task for visiting teams, and the Basque outfit is making it that way once more. Athletic has been defeated just three times at its own stadium this term, a record bettered only by the top three and Valencia.

Gaizka Garitano’s side will also be buoyed by its run of three wins in the last four, with Real Betis, Real Mallorca and Valencia having all brushed aside by Athletic, which is just two points adrift of the final Europa League qualification place.

Zidane’s Side Has Developed a Winning Habit and It Should Do So Again Here

Madrid will therefore not anticipate a straightforward assignment at San Mames, but it should still emerge victorious. Expect Zidane’s team to keep things tight – he would probably be happy with a goalless first half – and remain patient even if it does not make the breakthrough early on.

The goals have not exactly been flowing in Madrid’s matches of late, and that will probably be the case again here.

Our Pick

Back Madrid to win a match featuring fewer than 3.5 goals – the visitor will again seek a balanced approach as it closes in on silverware.

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Greg Lea

Expert on Soccer

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]