Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs Osasuna – predictions, team news, rosters
Sports Mole preview Sunday’s La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
Athletic Bilbao be the host of Osasuna Sunday night knowing that only victory will be enough if they are to retain any hope of finishing in the top seven of the La Liga table.
While the visitors sit just below their hosts in ninth position, they also need a win to catch up before the end of the season.
Having recorded consecutive La Liga wins on just three occasions since October, Athletic Bilbao may have little to complain about sitting in eighth place heading into the final two games of the campaign.
Moreover, failing to win or score against Valencia or Granada left them four points behind Villarreal, who occupy the Europa Conference League spot.
With Sevilla coming on the final day, Marcelino Garcia ToralThe team are clearly overlooked to reach that spot, but the Athletic boss will insist his players focus on at least trying to stay in the chase ahead of the trip to the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Defensively, the Lions have been excellent this season, conceding just 35 times in 36 outings, although only two clean sheets have been kept in their 11 most appearances.
The big problem has been their away form, with just four wins on record, and playing San Mames could prove vital on Sunday as they bid for their 10th win on familiar territory.
Athletic will face opponents in Osasuna who will be more than happy with their season so far, Jagoba Arrasate set to improve on their 11th place finish in 2020-21.
Finishing the season at home against Mallorca, Arrasate will feel his side are well placed to claim ninth place, but the carrot of eighth remains a realistic target.
However, Los Rojillos go into this contest on a four-game winless streak, with three of those games ending in draws in what Arrasate would have considered winnable games.
More disappointingly, Osasuna have held the lead in all three matches, and they will need to rediscover a ruthless streak if they are to extend an unbeaten away record to four games.
Form of Athletic Bilbao in La Liga:
Form of Osasuna in La Liga:
Michael Vesga was sent off after being introduced as a substitute against Granada and will be out for Athletic.
Having only been appointed as a substitute for this competition, Inaki Williams should be recalled in attack, potentially instead of Asier Villalibre.
With Athletic having failed to score in their last two matches, the veteran leader Raul Garcia could also come back.
Arrasate may be ready to stick with the same Osasuna XI who earned a draw against Getafe.
However, both Jon Moncayola and Darko Brasanac are pushing for recalls to midfield and could provide some new legs.
Possible starting line-up of Athletic Bilbao:
Simon; Lekue, Vivian, Martinez, Berchiche; N. Williams, Vencedor, Garcia, Muniain; Berenguer, I. Williams
Possible starting line-up from Osasuna:
Perez; Vidal, U. Garcia, D. Garcia, Cruz; Torro, Moncayola, Avila, Torres, R. Garcia; K. Garcia
We say: Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Osasuna
Neither team can claim to be at their best before their final double game, which could result in a game mixed with quality and errors. Nonetheless, we believe the home advantage will prove key for Athletic, leading to predict a narrow win.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com predict a home win in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their proven football tips.Home Win:data