Valencia are set to welcome Athletic Bilbao for a La Liga game at the Mestalla on Saturday afternoon (15:15 UK time).
Both teams are seeking a return to successful ways after suffering respective wins earlier this week. José Bordalás picked up a 3-1 defeat on the road at Sevilla while Athletic suffered a 1-2 home loss against Rayo Vallecano.
Valencia vs Athletic Bilbao live stream:
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Where to watch Valencia vs Athletic Bilbao on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Valencia 2-2 Athletic Bilbao
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Valencia vs Athletic Bilbao build-up & previous line-ups:
A promising start has since been forgotten as Valencia come into this latest round of fixtures looking to end a two-game losing streak. Los Che opened their 2021/22 campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Getafe, but they couldn’t follow that up as they were held at Granada, however José Bordalás’ men would put together a two-match winning run (subsequently registering seven goals and conceding once). Most recently they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory when Real Madrid paid them a visit and suffered a 3-1 loss at Sevilla earlier this week. They also come into this game knowing their last two home meetings against Athletic Bilbao have ended with them accumulating just one point (a 2-2 draw from last season).
That aforementioned loss came in July 2020 when a Garitano-led Athletic side left the Mestalla with a 0-2 victory, it was the club’s first win there since February 2016, back when Gary Neville was managing the Valencian outfit. Bringing things up to date, Athletic Bilbao find themselves sitting ninth in the early championship table, after picking up two wins from their opening six league outings. Both of those wins — against Celta Vigo and Mallorca — came in consecutive matchdays (three and four). Since then it’s been one point won from six available which includes a 1-2 home loss at Rayo Vallecano earlier this week.
- Valencia (vs Sevilla): Mamardashvili; Foulquier, Paulista, Alderete, Lato; Jason, Wass, Guillamón, Duro; Guedes, Gómez.
- Athletic Bilbao (vs Rayo Vallecano): Simón; De Marcos, Núñez, Martínez, Lekue; Williams, Vesga, Zarraga, Muniain; Villalibre, García.
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Player to watch: Iñaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao)
No player should be guaranteed a starting berth in a team as dip in form is real. However, for those who are continually selected across many years and seasons, it’s nothing short of a testament to their consistency and level of performance. No one illustrates this perfectly in the modern era than Athletic’s marksman Iñaki Williams who if selected will equal Jon Andoni Larrañaga’s record as the player who has played in the most consecutive games in La Liga history. The 27-year-old Bilbao-born marksman comes into this weekend’s meeting with Valencia having played 201 successive matches in Spain’s top division. In total Williams has turned out 272 times for his boyhood club during which time he’s registered 69 goals and created no fewer than 39 more. That being said, across 12 previous league meetings with Los Che, he’s never found the back of the net.
La Liga 2021/22 recent form:
- Valencia: LLWWD
- Athletic Bilbao: LDWWD
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