Sevilla will be looking to tighten their grip on a Champions League place when they travel to Athletic Bilbao for Thursday’s 9pm kick-off.
Julen Lopetegui’s side are fighting for a return to Europe’s top table after two seasons in the Europa League and currently sit fourth in La Liga, six points clear of fifth-placed Villarreal with four games remaining. Their top-four place could have already been secured but for a draw-heavy return to La Liga, with stalemates in four of their past seven games.
In order to take a step closer to Champions League football, Sevilla will have to avoid another tie against Athletic Bilbao this week – with the reverse fixture ending 1-1 earlier in the season. Athletic are also harbouring some European hopes of their own but their challenge for Europa League football is close to petering out.
The Basque-club are ninth, five points behind sixth-placed Getafe, and must hope for other results to go their way on top of potentially having to win their four remaining games – starting against Sevilla on Thursday. Can they do it?
Where to watch Athletic Bilbao vs Sevilla on TV:
- UK: LaLigaTV
- US: beIN SPORTS
Where to live stream the game:
UK: Bet365* are streaming this match live for account holders. Those without a Bet365 account already who are interested in streaming Athletic Bilbao vs Sevilla live can take advantage of this service by following the simple steps below.
- Click on this link.
- ‘Join now’ and enter details.
- Log in and fund the new account.
- Pick the desired event from among the ‘live now’ or ‘schedule’ sections in Bet365’s ‘live streaming’ category.
*Geo restrictions apply, 18+ only, must have a funded account, BeGambleAware. All odds and offers within this article are accurate at the time of writing (08/07/20, 11:30)
Athletic Bilbao & Sevilla’s previous line-ups:
- Athletic Bilbao (vs Real Madrid): Simon; Capa, Alvarez, Martinez, Berchiche; Dani Garcia, Lopez; Williams, Muniain, Cordoba; Raul Garcia*.
- Sevilla (vs Eibar): Vaclik*; Navas, Gomez, Carlos, Escudero; Banega, Fernando, Torres; Ocampos, De Jong, Munir.
Raul Garcia will miss out for Bilbao after receiving his 10th yellow card of the campaign in the defeat to Real Madrid. Meanwhile, Sevilla are expected to be without goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik after he sprained a ligament in his left knee against Eibar.
Players to watch:
Athletic Bilbao: With top-scorer Raul Garcia suspended, Bilbao’s attacking hopes are likely to fall on ever-present Inaki Williams. The Spanish winger has played in every league game for Bilbao this season, extending his remarkable run in the team to 153 without an absence and last failing to feature in April 2016. He’s been contributing to Bilbao’s attack this season, scoring six goals (only Raul Garcia has managed more) and and adding one assist. However, he will need to improve on his current form, having been directly involved in just one goal since La Liga returned and only three in 2020.
Sevilla: Lucas Ocampos was the talk of the footballing world after his game-winning performance against Eibar in which his influence was felt at both ends of the pitch. The 25-year-old scored the only goal of the game 10 minutes into the second-half to take his total tally for the season to 13, an impressive return in his debut campaign in La Liga after his move from Marseille last summer. Adding in all competitions, Ocampos is now just one goal off levelling his best single-season return, previously scoring 16 in 2017/18 for Marseille. But what made Ocampos’ performance against Eibar particularly memorable was that he replaced Tomas Vaclik in goal for the final minutes as Sevilla had used all of their substitutions. Not only that, but he also pulled off an excellent save from Eibar goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic who had gone up for a corner deep into injury time.
Speaking after the game, Ocampos revealed the instructions he received from the goalkeeping coach that proved vital. “I like going in goal when we play small-sided games but I never imagine that I would play there in a match,” he said. “The goalkeeping coach told me to stay between the posts, and I made the save.”
Lucas Ocampos is the first player to score a goal and a make a save in a top-five European league game since Alberto Brignoli vs Milan in December 2017.
Incredible scenes last night in Sevilla.
(video via @PremierSportsTV)
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 7, 2020
Scoreline prediction: Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Sevilla
La Liga 2019/20 recent form:
- Athletic Bilbao: WLWWL
- Sevilla: DDDWW