La Liga leaders Real Madrid are hoping to get back to their winning ways when they pay a visit to inconsistent Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday. Los Blancos saw their hot streak end over the weekend with a poor 0-0 draw at home to relegation contenders Cadiz, while Athletic bounced back from a loss to earn a dramatic 3-2 win over Real Betis. Real can keep some separation with the rest of the league with a win, while Athletic could further push for European spots with an upset victory:
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Tuesday, Dec. 22 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- Location: San Mames — Bilbao, Spain
- TV: None | Live stream: ESPN+
- Odds: Athletic -235; Draw +235; Real Madrid +119 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Athletic: After three straight games without a goal, Marcelino’s men got back on track with three strikes against Real Betis in an emotional victory. The team wasn’t overly impressive in terms of creating shots, but they were certainly efficient, scoring on half of their six attempts on goal. Against Real, they’ll want to do something similarly which is just the coach’s style — they will sit back, prioritize defending and aim to go on the counter. Expect them to be able to create good looks as a result, thanks to the speed and technical ability in attack.
Real Madrid: The scoreless draw against Elche snapped a 10-game streak of having scored at least a goal for Los Blancos, and they’ll chalk it up to just being one of those days. Carlo Ancelotti’s team had a staggering 36 shots, nine on frame and 83 percent possession, and the ball simply didn’t want to go in. Cadiz defended well and got a point they maybe didn’t deserve, but on the plus side for Real, the defense continues to look strong. It’s been 528 minutes since they’ve conceded a goal, and in fact, nobody has scored on them in all of the month of December. Doing that against Athletic can be tricky, but if the attack finds its form, they should be able to get the three points.
The hosts earn a draw thanks to a second-half goal from Inaki Williams. Pick: Athletic 1, Real Madrid 1