Who Will Win: Atletico Madrid v Athletic Bilbao
Road to the Final
Atletico; Defeated Stromsgodset in third qualifying round, Defeated Vitoria Guimaraes in playoff round, 1st in Group I (ahead of Udinese, Celtic, Rennes), Defeated Lazio in Round of 32 (4-1), Defeated Besiktas in Round of 16 (6-1), Defeated Hannover 96 in quarter-finals (4-2), Defeated Valencia in semi-finals (5-2)
Bilbao; Trabzonspor forfeited in playoff round, 1st in Group F (ahead of Salzburg, PSG, Slovan Bratislava), Defeated Lokomotiv Moscow on away goals in Round of 32 (3-2), Defeated Manchester United in Round of 16 (5-3), Defeated Schalke in quarter-finals (6-4), Defeated Sporting Lisbon in semi-finals (4-3)
Atletico are up to fifth and on a good run of form which has seen them move into calculations for the Uefa Champions League. The Mattressmakers’ 2-1 win over Malaga made it five games unbeaten in La Liga.
Bilbao are limping home in La Liga, sitting in 10th. They are winless in the past three games having claimed just one point, which came on the weekend with a 0-0 home draw with Getafe.
Bilbao boss Marcelo Bielsa rested a number of key players in the weekend’s draw with Getafe so they should be fresh. Fernando Amorebieta faces a fitness test on a calf problem.
Atletico boss Diego Simeone said: “They’re a team with a lot of intensity, a direct style of football, quick, brave, a team that isn’t afraid to play their way, even in away matches. They’ve played like that throughout the whole season. And knowing the team and their coach, I know they will be the same in any game, whether it’s a friendly or a final.”
Bilbao boss Marcelo Bielsa told Marca: “We have the youngest side in the Spanish league but throughout all of the games that I have had them, anxiety and mental preparation has never been a problem for this team. Just as they have been all season, they will be uninhibited and play naturally - even more so now that they are closer to victory.”
Sports Pundit predicts; Atletico Madrid 2-1 Athletic Bilbao
Related news & articles
Friday May 25
Barcelona will hope to conclude Josep Guardiola’s time at the club with some silverware when they play host to Marcelo Bielsa’s impressive Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final on Friday evening. More
Friday April 27
This season’s Europa League final will be an all-Spanish affair after Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid progressed to the decider with victories on Thursday. More
Thursday May 10
Radomel Falcao fired a double and Diego added a late third as Atletico Madrid clinched the Europa League for the second time in three years after a 3-0 final victory over Athletic Bilbao in Bucharest on Wednesday. More
Thursday April 19
The Europa League semifinals take place on Thursday night with three Spanish clubs and a Portuguese outfit battling it out for the spots in the decider. More