Insight and Analysis: Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Spanish Super Cup Final Match Prediction and Preview
Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Spanish Super Cup Final Match Prediction,Injuries/Suspension, Match Facts, Team News and Preview.
The first silverware of the season is up for grabs as the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia sees Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid clash in the Spanish Super Cup final.
As the former defend their 2020/21 title, the latter seek their 12th Super Cup success – which would leave them one behind their fierce rivals, Barcelona.
Having already seen off one capital-based club to get here (W 2-1 vs Atlético Madrid), Athletic enter their sixth Super Cup final on a four-match unbeaten run in all competitions (W3, D1) since losing to Madrid in late December.
The action in those fixtures has tended to come in bursts as four of the last five halves they’ve played were goalless.
The ‘Lions’ haven’t fared well against Madrid recently, losing each of the last three H2Hs by a single-goal margin.
That suggests another tight affair could ensue, as does the fact that both finals since the tournament switched to a four-team format ended up going to extra-time.
Madrid also needed the extra period to beat Barcelona 3-2 in the semi-final.But they’re now on a run of three consecutive competitive victories, averaging just over three goals per game.
Although ‘Los Blancos’ have dominated recent H2Hs, they lost to Athletic in last season’s semi-final, so there’ll be no complacency, particularly as coach Carlo Ancelotti has never won this trophy.
While he seeks to add this title to his glittering CV, his opposite number Marcelino has already ticked it off with last year’s success.
However, Ancelotti has never been on the losing side in a managerial H2H (W4, D2) and has only ever lost once to Athletic (W4, D1).Read more Liverpool vs Brentford Premier League 2022 Match Prediction
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Nico Williams has netted three goals in Athletic’s last three matches, including the winner against Atlético.
But Madrid’s semi-final hero Vinícius Júnior can better that, having scored three times across their last two fixtures.
Three of the last four H2Hs saw more goals before half-time than after.
Athletic Club are seemingly back to full fitness following the return of Yuri Berchiche and Asier Villalibre.
Unai Nunez looks to have shaken off a knock, as has Unai Vencedor.
Nico Williams should have earned a start here after scoring the winner last time out.
Gareth Bale remains out despite returning from injury, the Welshman sidelined with an unspecified issue.
Mariano Diaz is a doubt, while the big blow comes at right-back, with Dani Carvajal testing positive for COVID-19.
He will now have to stay in Saudi Arabia until he passes the isolation period and tests negative.
Lucas Vazquez should slot in for Carvajal in what is the only likely change.
Athletic Club booked their place in their second successive Spanish Super Cup final with a fine win over Atletico Madrid on Thursday night, coming from behind to win 2-1.
A header from Yeray Nunez and an excellent finish from young Nico Williams saw the Lions get the job done.
And they will now have the opportunity to protect their title in Riyadh against the La Liga leaders.
Marcelino’s men are now four games unbeaten heading into this one, and they will fancy their chances of pulling off an upset having lost 1-0 to Real Madrid twice in recent weeks.
Two games in which they dominated and were extremely unlucky not to come out on top.
Real Madrid booked their place in the final with a narrow win over rivals Barcelona, albeit after extra time.
Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema each added to their every-growing tallies for the season, but Los Blancos conceded two equalisers.
Substitute Fede Valverde went on to score the winner in extra time, and Real Madrid have now lost just one of their last 17 games across all competitions.
Real Madrid will be favourites here as they look to win their 12th Spanish Super Cup, while Athletic Club are looking for their fourth.
Marcelino seems to have come up with a formula to frustrate Real Madrid, but given the form of Benzema and Vinicius, it is hard to bet against Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Another narrow Los Blancos win is the most likely outcome.
Image Credit: AFP