The Basque derby is approaching. This weekend, two teams from the Basque region, Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad will be facing off for bumping up their current position on the standings.Both teams’ form have been quite inconsistent. Their form in La Liga is not satisfactory which led them both on the mid table. Yet, in Copa Del Rey, they have been surprisingly impressive. This will be the clash to show who deserves to be crowned as the king of Basque.
Real Sociedad had a disappointing loss while visiting Leganes last week. Despite dominating the match, they were defeated 1-2 by Oscar Rodriguezs free kick at the stoppage time. Previously, their one goal lead by Alexander Isak at the first half was equalised by Kenneth Omerous strike at the close range. Such result certainly disappoints their fans who long for their clubs presence in European competition. However, in Copa Del Rey, they surprisingly managed to thump Real Madrid 4-3 in Bernabeu.
Athletic Bilbao was not so much different. They were even beaten 0-2 in front of their home fans by Getafe last week. Damian Suarez and Jaime Mata scored the winning goals for the visitors side. Gaizka Garitanos men once again wasted several opportunities to equalise or even win the game. Their finishing touch is really their attacking issue. Nevertheless, in their midweek fixture, they stunned Barcelona in Copa del Rey by beating the Catalan with a late goal.
Missing players and probable lineups
Imanol Alguacil has been in favour of 4-3-3 formation with the transition to 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-4-1. Lately he counts on the Swedish international, Alexander Isak as the main scorer supported by Real Madrid loanee, Martin Odegaard, Portu and Mikel Oyarzabal. Unfortunately, two players will be sidelined for this match. They are Asier Illaramendi and Diego Llorente.
Sociedad: Alex Remiro; Nacho Monreal, Aritz Elustondo, Jose Zaldua, Robin Le Normand; Mikel Merino, Igor Zubeldia, Martin Odengaard ; Alexander Isak, Mikel Oyarzabal, Portu.
His counterpart, Gaizka Garitano tends to opt for two kinds of formation, 4-2-3-1 for the offensive football and 5-3-2 for the pragmatic defensive one. The latter seems to be working well against the big teams as it could potentially frustrate their contender. Yet, when it comes to the former one, Garitanos tough homework is to improve his mens finishing to create more effective attack. For this fixture, there are two names missing out the game, Oscat de Marcos and Inigo Martinez.
Bilbao: Unai Simon; Andre Capa, Yuri, Unai Nunez, Yeray Alvarez; Unai Lopez, Dani Garcia; Raul Garcia, Iker Muniain, Inaki Williams; Asier Villalibre.
The home side is slightly more dominant in the head-to-head encounter. They have won three times and lost twice in their last six meetings. Yet, Iker Muniain and Co have been unbeaten in the last three away games.
In this battle of two current La Liga giant killers, the host should have the bigger advantage to win than Bilbao. If the home side could revive from their loss last week, Inaki Williams and Co would be in trouble, especially since the visitors sides tendency to waste the shots on target.
Where to watch
International TV channels:
FuboTV, BeIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA), Eleven Sports 1 (Por), DIGI GO, Digi Sport (Cze), BeIN Sports Connect(Fra), DAZN (Ita, Ger, Sui, Aut, Jpn), TV2 Play (Den), Premier Players HD (UK, Ire), Movistar+ (Spain).
How to watch available games:
- Visit Bet365.com and login to your account, or click here to register.
- Deposit funds into your account.
- Select the game you want to watch.
- You MUST be 18 years of age or older in order to register.
- You CANNOT use Bet365 to watch any England Premier League matches.
- Gambling responsibly
- T&Cs apply