Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao preview

May 19, 2017
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

With the third position in the standings already secured, Atletico Madrid will not have a lot to play for on the final day of the season, although they will want to make a perfect goodbye to Vicente Calderon.

Athletic Bilbao, on the other hand, will attempt to finish the campaign in top 6 and in turn clinch Europa League qualification.

This season may not have been a resounding success for Atletico Madrid like some of the previous ones, but the team did record very good results in both Spain and Europe.

Once again, local rivals Real Madrid prevented los Colchoneros from challenging for the Champions League trophy, while both El Clasico rivals finished above them in the La Liga standings.

The club chiefs now need to show ambition and not only keep hold of boss Diego Simeone and his star men, but also attempt to reinforce the squad as the team moves to the new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Atletico will first attempt to finish the current season on a high and they can be backed at 2.10 (11/10) to win the final game of the campaign.

It remains to be seen whether Diego Simeone will make wholesale changes to his starting line-up, but Diego Godin is still suspended.

Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): Oblak – Gimenez, Savic, Hernandez, Filipe Luis – Koke, Gabi, Saul, Carrasco – Gameiro, Griezmann.

Just like their next opponents, Athletic Club haven’t really impressed this season, but there is no reason for disappointment either.

Los Leones look set to be heading towards a Europa League qualification, although they can finish anywhere from 6th to 8th position in the standings.

Athletic have struggled for form of late, taking just one point from games against Deportivo Alaves and Leganes, missing an opportunity to fight for Champions League qualification in doing so.

Los Leones now face an uphill task against very good Atletico Madrid side, but the good news is the hosts have already secured a top 3 finish.

Head coach Ernesto Valverde is sweating over the fitness of Inaki Williams, who is battling a knee injury, while Eneko Boveda and Mikel Balenziaga are also rated doubtful.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Kepa – De Marcos, Alvarez, Etxeita, Balenziaga – San Jose, Benat – Susaeta, Raul Garcia, Muniain – Aduriz.

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