The home side have picked up 12 points from their seven league games this season to sit fifth in the table, while Athletic are fourth, boasting 14 points from their opening seven matches.
Real Sociedad have won three, drawn three and lost one of their seven league matches this term, with a total of 12 points leaving them in fifth position in the table, two points behind fourth-placed Athletic.
The White and Blues actually drew their opening three La Liga games of the campaign, but they have now been victorious in three of their last four, including their last two against Getafe and Valencia.
Imanol Alguacil’s side also drew 1-1 with Inter Milan in their opening Champions League group-stage fixture on September 20, meaning that they have only lost once in all competitions this season, which came away to Real Madrid immediately after the international break.
Real Sociedad will now host Athletic, looking for a third league win in a row, before switching their attention back to Europe, facing a trip to Austria to take on Red Bull Salzburg next week.
La Real recorded a 3-1 win over Athletic in the corresponding match between the two sides last season, but they have only been victorious in one of their last five La Liga fixtures with their Basque rivals.
Athletic’s form this season has been impressive, boasting a record of four wins, two draws and one defeat from their seven matches, which has left them in fourth position in the table on 14 points.
The Lions actually lost their campaign opener at home to Real Madrid but are unbeaten since, winning four of their last six, including away successes over Osasuna and Alaves.
Ernesto Valverde’s side will enter this contest off the back of a 2-2 draw with Getafe on Wednesday, with the hosts twice leading at San Mames and twice being pegged back by their opponents.
The goals have been spread around this season, but Inaki Williams has four in his seven appearances, with the 29-year-old in strong form at the start of the 2023-24 campaign.
Athletic have not finished in the top four since the 2013-14 campaign, claiming eighth in their last two seasons, but they look well-equipped to sustain a push for the Champions League spots this term, and there is simply no downplaying the importance of Saturday’s all-Basque contest.
Real Sociedad La Liga form:
Real Sociedad form (all competitions):
Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:
We say: Real Sociedad 1-1 Athletic Bilbao
This has all of the makings of a very interesting match, with both sides in strong form in the early stages of the season. It would not be a surprise to see a winner here either way, but we just have a feeling that the two teams will share the points on Saturday.