- Atletico Madrid takes on Athletic Bilbao in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup on Thursday, January 13th at 2:00 pm ET
- The match is being played at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Get the odds, analysis, and betting prediction below
On Thursday, the final Spanish Super Cup semifinal takes place, as defending La Liga champions, Atletico Madrid, face Copa del Rey runners-up Athletic Bilbao. The winner of this match plays the winner of Real Madrid vs Barcelona on Wednesday afternoon.
As a reminder, Athletic Bilbao are the defending champions of this trophy. Los Cachorros took down Real Madrid in the semifinals last year, while shocking Spain in a 3-2 conquest of Barcelona. The Catalan giants looked to have the game won thanks to an Antoine Griezmann brace. However, two late goals from Asier Villalibre and Inaki Williams flipped the score line and final on its head.
Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Odds
|Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao||ATL -0.5 (-103) | BIL +0.5 (-117)||ATL +100 | BIL +310 | DRAW +225||Ov 2.5 (+148) | Un 2.5 (-182)|
Odds as of Jan 11th at Barstool Sportsbook
In turn, do not count Athletic Bilbao out in this match, despite their underdog status.
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They have won the competition three times overall, including another recent-ish victory in 2015. For Atletico Madrid, they have only won it twice, with their most recent victory coming in 2014.
Athletic Bilbao's Raúl García does not think the Spanish Super Cup should be played in Saudi Arabia. pic.twitter.com/fG0HHxNdHr
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) January 10, 2022
Madrid’s Recent Run of Form
Before the Christmas break, Diego Simeone and his Atletico Madrid side were at sixes and sevens. They nearly were eliminated from the Champions League and lost five games from seven in all competitions.
Ultimately, the significance of their defeats in La Liga has prematurely counted them out to repeat as champions. Now, Los Colchoneros sit 16 points behind their cross-city rivals, Real Madrid. This pressure puts a newfound importance on their remaining cup competitions.
Touchdown in Saudi Arabia! 👋🏼 pic.twitter.com/2kHlntgfB6
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) January 11, 2022
Regardless, Atletico Madrid have seemed to bounce back optimistically since the break. In three games, they have won two and drawn one, only conceding two goals in the process. Their victory over Rayo Vallecano was particularly impressive, given Vallecano’s stingy defense.
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Specifically, Athletic Bilbao will have to keep an eye on Angel Correa up top for Atletico. The Argentinean forward has arguably been Simeone’s best player this season, stirring up 11 goal contributions. Additionally, he ranks in the 93rd percentile of forwards in Europe’s top five leagues for non-penalty goals and touches in the opposition box per ninety minutes.
Angel Correa scored from inside the centre circle 🤯 pic.twitter.com/TKdF0i79gk
— GOAL (@goal) January 9, 2022
Unfortunately, Antoine Griezmann is a scratch for this match. In turn, Correa and Luis Suarez need to go above and beyond for Atletico to see victory.
Athletic Bilbao’s Defense Needs to Hold Strong
All in all, Athletic Bilbao have more than enough to beat this Atletico Madrid side. This is a team they have recently drawn and beaten in the past calendar year. Moreover, since 2019, the sides are 2-2-2 against one another, proving there is little to no advantage.
Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao La Liga Statistics
|1.65||Goals per game||0.95|
|1.34||Expected goals per game||1.34|
|1.20||Goals allowed per game||0.81|
|0.79||Expected goals allowed per game||0.94|
|83.2%||Passing Accuracy %||77.8%|
|13.2||Shots per game||12.9|
Nonetheless, it is extremely difficult for teams who strictly rely on their defense to win games. Atletico and Simeone love to sit down and suck the life out of game, undoubtedly. But, he also has goal scorers with more than enough quality to win or take the lead in those matches.
Bilbao do have the likes of Inaki Williams, Oihan Sancet and Iker Munian in attack. In my opinion, it just lacks in comparison to the Atletico attackers. Unai Simon will have to have the game of his life for Athletic Bilbao to keep Correa or Suarez out of the net. His 85% save percentage does make this seem more likely, but it is still a very daunting task.
Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Best Bet
Overall, the best bet for this match is the Atletico Madrid moneyline at +100. This bet has great value and while I think Bilbao is capable of winning a match like this, they have only won twice away from home this season in Spanish play and I do not foresee them repeating in this competition.
Pick: Atletico Madrid moneyline (+100)