Atletico Madrid - Athletic Bilbao Betting Preview: Why goals always look likely when these sides meet

This fixture has a history of being a high scoring encounter, and our Spanish expert Phil Kitromilides sees no reason for tonight's match to be any different
On paper this is the tie of week two in La Liga, as the Estadio Vicente Calderon hosts a repeat of this summer's Europa League final. On that occasion Atleti ran out comfortable 3-0 winners, with Athletic's brand of high pressing, free flowing football abandoning them when it mattered most.

Indeed the side from the Spanish capital also won the corresponding league fixture 2-1 back in March, and Bet 365 price them at 4/7 (1.57) to record another victory.

The Basques, who began their league campaign with a 5-3 home defeat by Real Betis are offered at 5/1 (6.00), while the draw can be backed at 3/1 (4.00). It is perhaps worth noting that there has not been a draw in this fixture for nearly seven years, with the last 14 meetings being won by one side or the other.

Athletic's off the field problems have been well documented this summer, with the Lions of San Mames seemingly about to lose their two best players in Fernando Llorente and Javi Martinez. Neither is expected to feature against Atletico and this will have a major impact on Athletic's play.

Expect them to be more direct and physical, rather than rapid and fluent, yet this does not mean there will no goals in the game.

Seven of the last 10 meetings between these two sides have seen at least three goals scored and the price of 8/11 (1.72) looks big enough to invest in.

All four of Athletic's competitive matches this season have comfortably gone over 2.5 goals, while five of Atleti's final six home games last season saw at least three goals.

For a value bet try Arda Turan to score at any time offered at 12/5 (3.40). Atletico's attacking midfielder scored in the draw against Levante last week, and will be keep to add more goals to his game.

Over 2.5 goals 8/11 (1.72) with Bet365
Arda Turan to score at any time at 12/5 (3.40) with Bet365

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.