Sunday, January 22, 2012


In La Liga, email favourites Athletic Bilbao make the daunting trip to the Bernabeu to face Real Madrid. They do not have the greatest record in the capital, very few do and have lost on nine of their last ten visits. However, they usually manage to register a goal and have scored in six of their last eight ( twice on two occasions) including on their last three visits. They also arrive in very confident mood ( unbeaten in ten domestic games) and I doubt they see themselves as lambs to the slaughter.

Hosts will want to bounce back from yet another loss to Barcelona in midweek and will want a positive result to take into the second leg in Catalonia, a match which is likely to have a knock on effect to any future meetings this season.

Real have conceded in six of their last seven starts, twice on three occasions and are very gung ho at times, for a Jose Mourinho coached team. They were lucky to follow up the league defeat to Barce with a cup trip to lowly Ponferradin this season, which allowed them to steady the ship somewhat,as, at the end of last season following their quartet of matches with Barce, they struggled especially defensively in subsequent games, including a 3-2 home defeat to Zaragoza.

Hard to know if it will have the same effect this time, but I do not see this talented Bilbao side as a lost cause and whilst I will not make that my bet, an away win at circa 14.0 would not totally surprise me.

I definitely think that Bilbao will score and if you can find the 1.80 for that, it offers value IMO, but I prefer the two goal option at more attractive odds, up to 5.50 is available and that is HUGE, anything around 4.50 is acceptable and that is what I will be taking if at all possible, my own odds are circa 3.20 !

However, liquidity is a problem there, so for the purposes of the email, I will take 1.25 units Athletic Bilbao +2 goals 1.86 asian line. In 30 starts across all competitions this campaign, Athletic have only once lost by two goals, in a meaningless Europa league tie. They are a club on the up, with an astute coach, getting stronger by the week and they might easily finish top 4 this season, infact, I think they will.

Athletic Bilbao: Iraizoz, Toquero, Amorebieta, San José, David López, Iturraspe, Llorente, De Marcos, Koikili, Raúl, Susaeta, Iraola, Iñigo Pérez, Muniain, Ander Herrera, Ekiza, Javi Martínez and Ibai.

Real Madrid: Casillas, Adán, Mejías, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Coentrão, Arbeloa, Albiol, Varane, Kaká, Özil, Granero, Alonso, Altintop, Callejón, Lass, Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuaín and Benzema.

Good Luck.

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