August 12, 2023
The dawn of the post-Karim Benzema era at Real Madrid commences this Saturday as Los Blancos square off against Athletic Club at the revered San Mamés stadium in Bilbao, Spain. A chapter that spanned 14 illustrious seasons, the departure of the former Ballon d’Or winner and UEFA Men’s Player of the Year has left a void in Madrid’s front line. His contribution of 238 La Liga goals and pivotal role in securing four La Liga titles and five Champions League trophies has etched his name in the club’s history. Benzema’s transition to Al-Ittihad of the Saudi Pro League, with an astounding reported yearly wage of $107 million, marks the end of an era.
Real Madrid, in a strategic maneuver, brought in Joselu on loan from Espanyol to fill the void left by Benzema’s departure. The kickoff for the match is set at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. As per the latest Real Madrid vs. Athletic odds, Los Blancos are the +122 favorites, while Athletic Club stands as the +220 underdogs. A potential draw sits at +235, and the over/under for total goals scored is placed at 2.5.
To guide you through your Athletic vs. Real Madrid predictions, turn to seasoned SportsLine soccer insider Jon “Buckets” Eimer. Renowned for his extensive knowledge of global leagues and players, Eimer’s track record includes in-depth coverage of leagues like the English Premier League, Serie A, and the FA Cup. Since the conclusion of the previous year’s World Cup, his red-hot predictions have resulted in a record of 167-149-8, securing a profit of $2,787 for $100 bettors.
Eimer has meticulously dissected the forthcoming Real Madrid vs. Athletic duel from every perspective and has unveiled his picks and La Liga predictions. For the comprehensive rundown of Eimer’s predictions, head over to SportsLine. Here are the key betting lines and trends for Athletic vs. Real Madrid:
- Real Madrid vs. Athletic money line: Real Madrid +122, Athletic +220, Draw +235
- Real Madrid vs. Athletic over/under: 2.5 goals
- Real Madrid vs. Athletic spread: Real Madrid -0.5 (+110), Athletic +0.5 (-140)
Real Madrid’s potential edge: Real Madrid’s new acquisition, Jude Bellingham, has demonstrated impressive form during the preseason. Acquired for a substantial $113 million from Borussia Dortmund, the 20-year-old midfielder’s composed goal against Manchester United during Los Blancos’ U.S. tour showcased his maturity on the field. Bellingham has also reportedly garnered respect from his teammates within a short time, signifying his impactful presence in the locker room. Additionally, Real Madrid’s defensive lineup remains largely consistent from the previous season, with key players like David Alaba and Eder Militao at centerback and Dani Carvajal at right back.
Athletic Club’s potential advantage: Los Leones confront a Real Madrid side missing the services of the esteemed goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Acknowledged as one of the finest goalkeepers globally, Courtois’ absence due to a torn ACL in his left knee necessitates a reshuffle. With Andriy Lunin, a 24-year-old Ukrainian, as their primary goalkeeping option, Athletic aims to exploit this potential vulnerability. Additionally, Los Blancos’ lackluster performance in their last two preseason matches could provide an opening for Athletic.
Making your Real Madrid vs. Athletic picks: Eimer’s analysis projects an inclination towards an Over on the goal total for the match. Furthermore, he’s identified two confident best bets, one of which offers a plus-money return. For an in-depth breakdown of this clash and Eimer’s precise La Liga predictions, make sure to visit SportsLine.