Athletic Bilbao might feel as though they are playing Real Madrid at a good point in the season, with a chance for the Basque team to catch their opponents cold. Ernesto Valverde’s team were able to finish eighth last season and they will hope that San Mames is a difficult place for their illustrious opponents to visit this weekend.

Although Athletic are the outsiders to win the game, they are still available at betting odds which suggests they have a chance of getting something. Indeed, Real Madrid are trading at odds-against and perhaps it can be a difficult encounter for the Spanish title contenders who weren’t that close to champions Barcelona when finishing ten points behind.

Real lost seven of their eighteen away games last season and interestingly only drew one of the encounters. They conceded an average of over one goal per away game last term and it will be interesting to see where the goals come from, with Karim Benzema having scored nineteen goals last season, while Marco Asensio has also left for PSG.

The big issue is that Real are still struggling to get a deal for Kylian Mbappe over the line and the loan signing of Joselu still leaves the team short. Perhaps we might see a tight game and a fairly cagey opener, with Fran Garcia and Arda Guler other arrivals at the Bernabeu this summer, with Javier Morton out to impress for the home side after a move from Real Sociedad.


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