Football Predictions

Athletic Bilbao vs Valencia live stream, predictions & team news | La Liga

By Harry Edwards

Athletic Bilbao vs Valencia live stream, predictions & team news | La Liga

Published: 13:30, 6 February 2021

Both Athletic Bilbao and Valencia will be looking to improve on their mediocre league seasons so far when they face off in La Liga on Sunday (3:15pm kick-off).

The two sides, usually fighting for the Champions League and Europa League spots, are currently sitting in the bottom half of the table, closer to the bottom three than they are the top four.

How to live stream Athletic Bilbao vs Valencia online:

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Where to watch Athletic Bilbao vs Valencia on TV:

  • UK: LaLigaTV
  • US: beiN Sports

Scoreline prediction: Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Valencia

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Athletic Bilbao vs Valencia build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:

For Bilbao, the downfall has been a few years in the making as they slumped to an 11th-placed finish last season, having narrowly missed out on the Europa League the campaign prior. Eleventh is where they currently sit too, winning just seven of their opening 20 games so far, form that saw Gaizka Garitano replaced by Marcelino at the start of the year.

The arrival of the former Valencia boss in the dugout has shaped an upturn in form, and Bilbao have won six of their eight games under Marcelino across all competitions. Barcelona are the only team to beat Bilbao during that run, doing so twice in the league including last weekend, but the Basque club did beat Ronald Koeman’s men in the recent Spanish Super Cup final to take the first trophy of the Marcelino era. Bilbao also bounced immediately back from the defeat last weekend, beating Real Betis in midweek to secure their spot in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.

While Bilbao have found solace in the cup competitions so far, Valencia were knocked out of the Copa del Rey at the round-of-16, losing 3-0 to Sevilla. Again, Valencia’s slump has been in the making, but it is bigger than that of their opponents this weekend. Just last season, Valencia were playing in the Champions League and won their group ahead of Chelsea and Ajax but they ended the La Liga campaign in ninth, missing out of European football altogether.

Over the summer, they were ravaged by Villarreal who took Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin, and are currently in 14th, just four points clear of the relegation zone – a gap they increased thanks to a victory over Elche last weekend.

  • Athletic Bilbao (vs Real Betis): Simon; Lekue, Alvarez, Martinez, Berchiche; De Marcos, Vesga, D Garcia, Berenguer; Villalibre, R Garcia*.
  • Valencia (vs Elche): Domenech; Correia, Guillamon, Gabriel, Gaya; Wass, Racic, Soler, Guedes; Vallejo, Gomez.

Athletic Bilbao are going to miss striker Raul Garcia, who is suspended for this weekend’s tie, though Inaki Williams will be fresh after only making a substitute appearance in midweek. Iker Muniain is a doubt for the hosts, as is Mikel Balenziaga but Inigo Vicente and Peru Nolaskoain are out.

Valencia continue to be without Kevin Gameiro, Eliaquin Mangala, Jasper Cillessen, Mouctar Diakhaby and Cristiano Piccini, with Denis Cheryshev a doubt. But Hugo Guillamon is back from suspension.

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Players to watch:

  • Athletic Bilbao: The Basque club haven’t really inspired in front of goal this season, and with Raul Garcia suspended they’ll be missing one of their threats. But Inaki Williams is capable of filling the gap left by Garcia. The Spaniard is, in fact, Bilbao’s joint-top scorer in La Liga this season with four goals, level alongside Iker Muniain, but he has also added three assists, being directly involved in more goals than any other player at the club. Williams has scored one and assisted one in his past three La Liga games and will need to be on his game to help move his boyhood club back into the top half.
  • Valencia: Like Bilbao, Valencia haven’t been great in the opposition half this season, but they have had midfielder Carlos Soler to thanks for a portion of their goals. The Spaniard has scored six goals in 17 La Liga games so far this season, with five coming from the penalty spot, but that shouldn’t take anything away from his impact. Soler has also recorded four assists, level with Jose Gaya as the most at Valencia, and all four have come from set piece situations. He’s a real dead-ball specialist that Bilbao will have to try and keep quiet.

La Liga 2020/21 recent form:

  • Athletic Bilbao: LWLWL
  • Valencia: WLDWD

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