Real Sociedad vs Athletic Bilbao predicted lineups: Basque pride at stake at the Reale Arena

It’s Basque derby weekend in LaLiga as two top six teams meet. Here is the latest team news and Real Sociedad vs Athletic Bilbao predicted lineups for the big showdown which takes place on Saturday night at 21:00 at the Reale Arena.

Real Sociedad vs Athletic Bilbao predicted lineups
Real Sociedad’s midfielder Martin Zubimendi in action against Athletic Bilbao’s Iker Muniain at Reale Arena in San Sebastian, Basque Country, 07 April 2021. Efe/ABACAPRESS.COM// Javier Etxezarreta Photo by Icon Sport

Real Sociedad vs Athletic Bilbao predicted lineups and news

Both sides have made good starts to the season and neither have lost with the exception of defeats to Real Madrid in each case. Athletic Club currently have the edge and are sitting pretty in 4th place with 14 points from their opening 7 matches.

Real Sociedad are two places and two points further back, but they have shown in recent seasons that they have the stronger team. With the clubs so close in the early league table, it’s not just local pride they are playing for here.

The match will be live on Viaplay Sports 1 and LALIGATV in the UK.

Team news: Real Sociedad

Real Sociedad rotated their team heavily in midweek, resting the likes of Take Kubo and Robin Le Normand for the trip to Valencia. Despite just having two shots in the whole game, they won 1-0, but we can expect a much stronger lineup this weekend for this historic derby clash.

Imanol will be happy to have no major selection issues with only long-term absentee Marin Merquelanz expected to be missing here. That gives him a wide choice of options for this match.

The main doubts appear to be at left-back where Kieran Tierney and Aihen Munoz are competing for a place and up front where Carlos Fernandez, Umar Sadiq and Mikel Oyarzabal are all options for a starting role at the top of a 4-3-3 formation.

Real Sociedad predicted lineup

Remiro, Tierney, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Traore, Merino, Zubimendi, Brais Mendez, Barrenetxea, Oyarzabal, Kubo

Team news: Athletic Bilbao

Athletic made a really poor start to the season, losing their opening game at home to Real Madrid and it was not a great performance. That came on the back of a slightly underwhelming first season back in Bilbao for Ernesto Valverde, but things are looking much brighter six games on.

Oihan Sancet
Oihan Sancet is suspended after his midweek red cad (Photo by Cesar Ortiz / Pressinphoto / Icon Sport)

His team have found a bit of rhythm with Iñaki Williams leading their charge up the table in the absence of his brother Nico who picked up an injury after a bright start to the campaign. There was a setback in midweek though as Athletic were held at home by a physical Getafe side in a match which saw Oihan Sancet sent off.

The midfielder will miss the derby as a result and Athletic have other problems in the centre of the pitch too with Íñigo Ruiz de Galarreta currently sidelined through injury.

Athletic Bilbao predicted lineup

Simon, Yuri, Yeray, Vivian, De Marcos, Dani Garcia, Vesga, Berenguer, Muniain, Iñaki Williams, Guruzeta

Will Nico Williams play?

Nico Williams has registered five assists in five games for club and country so far this season but hasn’t featured for Athletic since the international break due to an injury. 

He remains a major doubt here but the talented young winger is nearing fitness and could play some part in this game, although it’s very unlikely to be from the start.

Nico Williams
Nico Williams of Athletic Club against Real Madrid on August 12 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Cesar Ortiz / Pressinphoto / Icon Sport)

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