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Atletico Madrid v Athletic Bilbao: Goals expected for the hosts

| 26.08.2012

Atletico Madrid are the overwhelming favourites to pile further misery on Athletic Bilbao’s start to the season when the two clubs clash at the Vicente Calderon.

The home side are odds-on to produce a repeat performance of the Europa League final and defeat Bilbao at 8/13.

Madrid captured their second European trophy in three seasons in May when they defeated Marcelo Bielsa’s side 3-0, and a repeat result in the league can be backed at 12/1.

Atletico have retained the services of Chelsea target Radamel Falcao, who bagged 37 goals for the club last year. He is the 16/5 favourite to open the scoring in this match.

Neither side have kicked off their La Liga campaigns in the best of form, with Madrid drawing 1-1 away to Levante and Bilbao losing at home to Betis in a 5-3 goal-fest.

Bilbao are suffering from the continued absence of their star performers Fernando Llorente and Javi Martinez, whilst 19-year-old playmaker Iker Muniain has been troubled with injury.

Martinez is desperate to push through his move to Bayern Munich, and Llorente is set for a move abroad too, with Juventus a possible destination.

Therefore Bilbao’s task away to a strong-looking Atletico Madrid is set to be a difficult one, highlighted by the visitor’s 9/2 price to achieve an unlikely victory.

The draw can be found at 11/4, but better value may be found with Madrid to keep a second successive clean sheet and win to nil at 3/1.

This fixture tends to produce goals, with 107 scored in the side’s 34 meetings in La Liga. Only once has a match ended 0-0, back in the 1998/99 season.

A bet on the game producing over 3.5 goals can be found at 2/1, with Madrid to fire 4+ goals looks tempting at 5/1.

Aside from Falcao, the Colombian’s strike partner Adrian is 11/2 to break the deadlock, and tricky wide-man Arda Turan can be backed at 6/1.

For the away team Gazika Toquero is likely to fill Llorente’s boots up-front, and the 28-year-old is priced at 10/1 to find the net first.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Jamie Dickenson