In theory, a trip to San Mames should be one of the toughest away games of the season for Real Madrid, although in recent years Los Blancos have had a decent amount of joy from their visits to Bilbao.
Four wins and a draw in their last six away games against Athletic mean that the European champions head north with a strong recent record against the Basques and Zinedine Zidane's men will be hoping to retain top spot in La Liga. Madrid went top last weekend following a 2-1 win at home to Real Betis and know that their league destiny is in their own hands with 12 games left of the season.
Athletic meanwhile earned an impressive 2-0 derby win at Real Sociedad last weekend, a result which was surprising given the Basques' away record. Prior to their visit to Anoeta, they had netted just seven times on the road, the lowest total in the top flight, and their form away from home has been in stark contrast to their results on home soil.
Ernesto Valverde's men boast the second best home record in La Liga (after Real Madrid) with their only defeat of the season coming back in August by a 1-0 scoreline against Barcelona. Punters therefore may well be interested in Betfair's price of 4/1 (5.00) for a home win despite Madrid's decent recent record on this ground in recent , while Zidane's men can be backed at 4/6 (1.65) with the draw offered at 11/4 (3.75).
Goals are certainly expected at San Mames where high-scoring matches have become the norm this season. Both teams to score is offered at just 4/7 (1.57) with the same price available for over 2.5 goals.
Looking at Athletic's home scoring record this term, they have been finding the back of the net with ease and there could be some value in backing them to score over 1.5 goals at 2/1 (3.00). This bet has paid out in nine of their last 13 home league games although the Bilbao outfit have not scored twice at home to Madrid since 2009.
Perhaps a better bet is backing over 1.5 goals to be scored in the opening 45 minutes at 11/8 (2.37), with this bet comfortably paying out in the last two meetings between these sides. This has also proved the correct selection in five of Madrid's last seven league games, and with Zidane's side recently conceding lots of early goals, there is every chance of it paying out once more.