La Liga: Athletic Bilbao Vs Espanyol – Match preview

La Liga: Athletic Bilbao Vs Espanyol – Match preview

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06 Feb 2022
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Athletic Bilbao vs Espanyol

Athletic start this matchday with a four-point advantage over their opponents and sit just five points shy of the Champions League places, whilst extra confidence will be taken from their last-minute Copa del Rey quarter-final victory over Real Madrid in midweek.

Athletic Bilbao

Round 23’s La Liga action concludes on Monday with an interesting tussle between two sides who hold an outside shot at European qualification, Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol. Athletic start this matchday with a four-point advantage over their opponents and sit just five points shy of the Champions League places, whilst extra confidence will be taken from their last-minute Copa del Rey quarter-final victory over Real Madrid in midweek. Winning three of their last five La Liga outings, Athletic’s upturn in form has been aided by a frontline that’s netted an average of 1.6 goals per match in that stint, more than double the average they managed across their opening 17 La Liga outings this season (0.76).

 

They’ve also lost just one of their last six home La Liga H2Hs as manager Marcelino hopes that his side can avoid recording back-to-back home league losses for the first time during his reign!

Espanyol

In this 172nd La Liga meeting between the two sides, visiting Espanyol will be hoping to add to their record of beating Athletic more times than any other side in the competition’s history. The ‘Parakeets’ have also netted more times against Athletic than any other club in top-flight history (237), though they may struggle to add to that here as they’ve failed to score in 45 per cent of their La Liga away matches this term. Subsequently winning just once on the road this league season, Espanyol are at least unbeaten over their last two. They did concede in both of those and have now conceded in seven straight La Liga outings, so more misery could be coming their way in this clash.

 

Athletic’s Oihan Sancet has seven La Liga goal contributions this season, with six of those arriving across his last four league appearances. Espanyol’s Raul de Tomas is La Liga’s joint-second top scorer and has three strikes in four previous H2Hs. Athletic are averaging 6.64 corners per La Liga outing this season – the competition’s highest tally.

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