Athletic Bilbao-Real Sociedad Betting Preview: Why the Basque derby will see at least three goals scored

With Athletic conceding on a regular basis and la Real in decent scoring form, our Spanish expert Phil Kitromilides believes there will be at least three goals at San Mames
The Basque derby is always a special occasion, and Friday night's meeting between these two sides will be no different. Indeed the atmosphere should be even more intense given that this will be final derby played in Athletic's cavernous San Mames stadium, known affectionately as the Cathedral.

It has been a long while since Real Sociedad came into a match against their eternal rivals with such a considerable advantage over them, with the men from San Sebastian eight places and 11 points ahead of their counterparts from Bilbao.

Nevertheless, Bet365 still make the visitors the outsiders pricing them at 21/10 (3.10) for the win. Athletic meanwhile whose season has been an extended hangover from their heights reached in the previous campaign, can be backed at 5/4 (2.25) with the draw offered at 12/5 (3.40).

It is worth pointing out that la Real have become one of the toughest sides to beat in La Liga with their only defeat in the last 14 matches coming at the Bernabeu.

However it is also worth mentioning the important caveat to that statistic; remarkably Sociedad have seen their opponents have a man sent off in each of their last eight matches, something which has never previously happened in the history of Spanish football.

Perhaps they are not as strong as their results would have us believe, but in any case they have been able to find the back of the net making the price of 8/11 (1.72) for over 2.5 goals look generous.

This bet has paid out in five of la Real's last seven away games, and in each of Athletic's last three home matches. Marcelo Bielsa's team have struggled badly to keep clean sheets this season, and with their neighbours in decent scoring form, there is every chance of at least three goals being scored.

For a value bet, trying backing the visitors' in-form forward Chori Castro to score at any time, available at 13/5 (3.60), with the Uruguayan having netted three times in his last five games.

Over 2.5 goals 8/11 (1.72) with Bet365
Chori Castro to score at any time at 13/5 (3.60) with Bet365

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports anchor working on TV in Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.