Valencia will be looking to end a three-match winless streak in La Liga when they host Athletic Bilbao at the Mestalla on Saturday at 1pm.
Valencia XI: Domenech; Wass, Gabriel, Diakhaby, Lato; Musah, Soler, Racic, Guedes; Vallejo, Gomez.
Athletic Bilbao XI: Simon, Capa, Alvarez, Martinez, Yuri; Vesga, Garcia; Williams, Muniain, Berenguer; Villalibre.
Where to watch Valencia vs Athletic Bilbao on TV:
- UK: LaLigaTV
- US: beIN SPORTS
Where to live stream Valencia vs Athletic Bilbao:
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Scoreline prediction: Valencia 1-1 Athletic Bilbao
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Valencia vs Athletic Bilbao build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Los Che’s inconsistency sees them sitting nine places and seven points adrift of the Champions League places which must be their goal considering the club’s stature.
Javi Gracia is their fourth different manager since the 2019/20 season began and he’s already under heavy scrutiny; a win this weekend should alleviate some of that pressure, but their visitors are no pushovers.
Athletic are playing at the same level and will be confident of exploiting any deficiency as they seek to end a miserable run away from San Mames.
A run of just one win across their previous eight league matches leaves Valencia languishing in mid-table; their form at home isn’t encouraging with Javi Gracia’s men picking up five points from the last 15 available, last time out though it was a narrow 0-1 defeat to high-flying Atletico Madrid and their goal was inadvertently put into his own net by Toni Lato.
Athletic find themselves level on points with their matchday 13 opponents. However, on their recent travels, it’s been just one disappointment after another. Heading into this weekend’s showdown, they’ve suffered three consecutive losses on the road before holding Getafe to a 1-1 draw. That being said, the Bilbao-based club did win on their most recent visit to Valencia, running out 0-2 winners in July with Raúl García grabbing a brace.
- Valencia (vs Eibar): Doménech; Wass, Paulista, Mangala, Lato; Guedes, Racic, Soler, Musah; Vallejo, Gómez.
- Athletic Bilbao (vs Celta de Vigo): Simón; Capa, Núñez, Álvarez, Berchiche; Vesga, Vencedor; Williams, Muniain, Berenguer; Villalibre.
Garitano visits the Mestalla with doubts over the involvement of defensive midfielder, Peru Nolaskoain, who recently sustained a knock. Hugo Guillamón serves a one-match ban for Los Che; the former La Liga champions also miss Jose Gaya and Jasper Cillessen this weekend, both out with respective injuries, while Kang-in Lee and Denis Cheryshev are out.
Player to watch: Carlos Soler (Valencia)
Goals haven’t been hard to come by for Valencia this season; of the clubs sitting from 10th place (Elche) and below, they’ve scored the most (17). Playing a key role in that output has been midfielder, Carlos Soler, who goes into this game with four goals himself — albeit three, all from the penalty spot, came in a sensational 4-1 win over Real Madrid last month — while creating two more. Soler is currently averaging 37.04 successful passes per 90 minutes, which is the most of any non-defender at Valencia, and his ability to move the ball will be key as Athletic are most likely to deploy a counter-attacking game.
La Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Valencia: DLDWD
- Athletic Bilbao: LDWLW
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