Athletic Bilbao will face Espanyol at Estadio de Mestalla, in Bilbao, at the 27th Round of Spanish LaLiga. Athletic Bilbao against Espanyol is always the match with big interest especially during this season and LaLiga positions. Review our thoughts on this match here below.
Athletic Bilbao this year is playing far from their best football. They similar like Valencia like to play draws, as they won 7 matches and play 12 draws in 26 games. In the last 10 matches, they lost only once and won 5 matches in different competitions. The fight for getting into the Europa League is still ongoing and even 11-13 places can get into this competition. Sevilla is showing bad form as they collected only 1 point in 5 matches and can give their place to someone else. Bosques are undefeated in their 8 last home matches, moreover, they kept a clean sheet in 4 last home matches in LaLiga.
I. Williams and I. Muniain are playing leading positions this season and are helping the team in every game. Unfortunately, A. Aduriz and I. Lekue will miss the match due to injuries and some of the other players are still under question.
Athletico is great this season at aerial duels and counter attacks as their leader Inaki is extremely fast. However, they are weak at defending against long shots and protecting the lead. Very likely, that Bilbao at home ground will play width and possessional football.
Espanyol has joined the chasing path with other clubs, which want to take the 6th or 5th places as they have the same points as Leganes and Athletic Bilbao. However, Espanyol is facing troubles while playing road games. In the last 15 matches in different competitions, they won only once against Huesca, lost 9 games and have drawn other games. This away statistic is not promising at all. They must improve the game on the road if they want to fight for higher places in the Spanish LaLiga.
Several main squad players will miss this match what could make a bad effect on the game. S. Garcia, D. Lopez, Naldo, and P. Piatti will miss the match for sure due to injuries.
The Budgerigars are strong this season at shooting from direct free kicks and creating long shot opportunities. However, they are showing weaknesses at defending set pieces, finishing scoring chances and avoiding fouling in dangerous areas. Very likely that team from Barcelona will play with rotational first eleven, take long shots and attack down the right flank.
In the last 2 season including this teams met 3 times. All matches finished with less than 2 goals. Espanyol won twice and once in Bilbao. Athletico was unlucky in all matches and scored only once in 3 games.
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