Athletic Bilbao welcome Villarreal to San Mames for a La Liga showdown on Sunday evening (8pm, UK time). Unai Emery’s men are still in the
Athletic Bilbao welcome Villarreal to San Mames for a La Liga showdown on Sunday evening (8pm, UK time).
Unai Emery’s men are still in the hunt for Champions League qualification while their hosts are languishing in mid-table following a string of recent disappointing results.
How to live stream Athletic Bilbao vs Villarreal online:
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Where to watch Athletic Bilbao vs Villarreal on TV:
- UK: LaLigaTV
- US: Fanatiz USA
Scoreline prediction: Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Villarreal
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Athletic Bilbao vs Villarreal build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
To say Athletic have been inconsistent of late is an understatement. The Basque club go into this weekend’s game having collected one win from their last three league matches played. In that span of time, Bilbao also tasted one defeat, though it came narrowly against Barcelona, who a few games earlier had also left San Mamés with all three points. It hasn’t been rosy at home this season, either, with Athletic boasting the league’s eighth-best record after winning six of 11 played while losing on four occasions, including that aforementioned Barça defeat.
A five-match winless streak, in which Villarreal accumulated four points from 15 available, has left the Yellow Submarine sitting just outside the European places. During that period, they’ve slipped from third to seventh but crucially, Emery’s side are nine points behind the final Champions League spot. On the road, it’s been a lacklustre campaign so far. Across their opening 11 games away from home, Villarreal have picked up three wins and have lost on two occasions against Barcelona (4-0) and Sevilla (2-0), both of whom currently sit above them in La Liga.
- Athletic Bilbao (vs Cadiz): Simón; Capa, Núñez*, Álvarez, Berchiche; Muniain, Vesga*, López, Berenguer; Williams, García.
- Villarreal (vs Red Bull Salzburg): Rulli; Peña, Albiol, Torres, Estupiñán; Gómez, Capoue, Parejo, Trigueros; Moreno, Alcácer.
Unai Núñez and Mikel Vesga are both set to miss this game for Athletic Bilbao through suspension. As for Villarreal, they’re still missing Francis Coquelin, Mario Gaspar and Vicente Iborra.
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Players to watch:
- Athletic Bilbao: It’s been a relatively quiet campaign on the scoring front for veteran Bilbao marksman Raúl García, who has featured in all but two of their league outings. He goes into this weekend having bagged three goals with a brace coming in a recent 5-1 win over Getafe. García is expected to feature against Villarreal, a side who he’s done well against in previous meetings. His last three league goals in this fixture have been winning efforts: the first while representing Atlético Madrid and the latter two with Athletic. Curiously, those games all took place at home and ended 1-0.
- Villarreal: The race for this season’s Pichichi Trophy is hotting up. Luis Suárez currently leads the way on 16 strikes and one behind is former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi, who has claimed this prize on a record seven occasions. Behind them is a gaggle of players headed up by Gerard Moreno on 13 goals. This subsequently makes him the leading Spanish marksman. Moreno is also enjoying his joint-best run of consecutive games scored in during a single La Liga season. Can he set a new personal record this weekend?
La Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Athletic Bilbao: WDLWL
- Villarreal: LDDDD
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