Preview: Athletic Bilbao v Sevilla
Sports Mole provides an overview of Saturday’s La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Seville will look to recover from Wednesday’s disappointment in the Champions League when they continue their La Liga campaign at Bilbao athletics Saturday evening.
Julen LopeteguiThe team are currently second in the Spanish top flight, with Athletic in ninth place, having collected 21 points in their opening 16 matches of the 2021-22 campaign.
Athletic have won four, drawn nine and lost three of their 16 league appearances this season to collect 21 points, placing them in ninth place in the table heading into the next round of Spain’s top-flight matches.
The Basque side have not actually been victorious in the league since beating Villarreal on October 23, with five draws out of their last seven, including a 0-0 against Getafe on December 6.
Athletic now have three straight home games against Sevilla, Real Betis and Real Madrid before the winter break, and they could end up in the top seven with good form.
MarcelinoThe team have finished 11th and 10th in their last two league seasons, but they were among the top seven teams between 2014 and 2017, and the quality is there to climb into the top seven this season.
The Lions have actually been victorious in their last two league games against Sevilla, including a 2-1 success in the corresponding clash last season, while they also won 1-0 at Estadio Ramon in may.
Sevilla, meanwhile, will enter the game after a 1-0 Champions League loss to RB Salzburg on Wednesday, which saw them finish third in Group G and advance to the Europa League.
Considering the strength of the squad, third is a major disappointment for Sevilla, but Los Nervionenses have been excellent in the Spanish top flight this season, collecting 31 points from 15 appearances to move into second place.
Lopetegui’s side are eight points behind leaders Real Madrid but have a game in hand against Los Blancos, as they are just two points ahead of fifth-placed Real Sociedad, so a streak disappointing results could see them slide down the rankings relatively quickly.
Sevilla may have lost in the Champions League on Wednesday, but they have won their last two domestic matches, beating Cordoba 1-0 in the Copa del Rey first round on December 1 before registering a 1-0 victory over Villarreal in championship. three days later.
The Red and Whites will return to the Copa del Rey against Andratx on December 15 before hosting Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the league ahead of the winter break.
Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:
Sevilla Liga form:
Seville form (all competitions):
Athletics should again be deprived of the services of Asier Villalibre, Daniel Viviane, Peru Nolaskoain and Yuri Berchiche for this weekend’s injury contest.
Head coach Marcelino is likely to remain confident in the majority of the squad that started the goalless draw with Getafe, but Iker Muniain and Alex Berenguer both push to return to XI.
Nico williams and Oier Zarraga could therefore drop onto the bench, but Raul garcia and Inaki williams should continue as the first two for the Basque club.
As for Seville, Marcos Acuna, Erik Lamela, Youssef En-Nesyri and Jesus Navas all will miss the competition due to injury.
The absence of Acuna at the back left will open the door to Ludwig Augustinsson to continue in the starting XI, but there should be at least one change from the squad that started in Europe on Wednesday.
Indeed, Rafa Mir is likely to return to lead Loptegui’s squad, while Oscar Rodriguez and Olivier Torres will be in contention for the starting lineup on Saturday.
Possible starting line-up from Athletic Bilbao:
Simon; From Marcos, Yeray, I Martinez, Lekue; Berenguer, Vencedor, D Garcia, Muniain; I Williams, R Garcia
Possible starting line-up in Seville:
Bounou; Montiel, KoundÃ©, Carlos, Augustinsson; Jordan, Fernando, Rakitic; Ocampos, Mir, Gomez
We say: Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Sevilla
It’s a very difficult game for Sevilla after a European game, and we are struggling to support the visitors to triumph this weekend. Athletic have drawn in nine of their 16 league appearances this season, losing just three times, and we expect another stalemate for the Basque team here.
Our expert tipster partners on Sporita.com predict more than 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their proven football tips.Over 1.5: data