Athletic Bilbao – Valencia

This game features two of Spain’s most historic clubs. Valencia have been having much the better season and look well placed to secure a return to the Champions League next term. Athletic meanwhile face an uphill struggle just to make the Europa League, a competition they are still competing in.

While they have won their last three league games and are 8 points clear of Villarreal in 5th, Valencia haven’t been as convincing in recent months as they were at the start of the campaign. They suffered six straight defeats between mid January and early February and some of those recent wins weren’t totally convincing.

They were reliant on some poor refereeing in the Valencia derby and were second best for long periods, before grabbing two late goals to beat bottom club Malaga. While Athletic aren’t having a fantastic campaign, San Mames is never an easy place to go and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Valencia got turned over here.

Screenshot-2018-2-28 Athletic Bilbao vs Valencia Predictions, Betting Tips and Match Previews

The Basque giants are only slight favourites with the bookies but there’s plenty of reason to think they will at the very least avoid defeat. Defensively they’ve been very solid. Only four teams have conceded fewer goals than them and at home they’ve let in just 0.58 goals per game on average.

Their only home league defeats this season have come against the current top two and it’s just 3 defeats in 30 home league games overall for Athletic. It’s over two years since they lost at home in La Liga against somebody other than Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid and that’s a measure of the task Valencia are faced with here.

Los Che aren’t playing with quite such conviction or quality now and there has been a fair amount of speculation that they’ve simply run out of steam, to some extent. Marcelino favours a high intensity approach, both in training and on the pitch and his Villarreal teams were known for starting seasons well but ending poorly, with fatigue kicking in.

The same might just be happening to a small extent with Valencia and given they are so tough to beat at San Mames, backing Athletic Bilbao Draw No Bet looks like the smart move here. They’ve drawn a lot of home games this term so it certainly makes sense to go for the Draw No Bet rather than Full Time Result market here.

Head To Head

The last 5 meetings have all been won by the side playing at home (3 for Valencia, 2 for Athletic). Valencia haven’t won on any of their last 6 visits to San Mames, losing 4.

Athletic Bilbao vs Valencia Stats

  • Athletic home games average just 1.42 goals per game in total this term in La Liga.
  • Valencia have lost 6 of their last 9 away games in all competitions.

Athletic Bilbao Team News

Mikel Rico is injured so Ander Iturraspe and Benat are likely to operate in central midfield. Unai Nunez is available but Yeray and Inigo Martinez could keep their places in central defence.

Valencia Team News

Central midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia could be fit to return here. The strike-force is likely to be rotated and Rodrigo may be rested given he’s one game from a ban and the next one is against fellow top four hopefuls Sevilla.

Athletic Bilbao vs Valencia Predictions

Athletic Bilbao Draw No Bet

Correct Score Prediction

Athletic Bilbao 1-0

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