Athletic Bilbao vs Alaves predictions, H2H and match preview for this Saturday’s game in La Liga. Read on for analysis and predicted line-ups as these Basque rivals clash in a possibly decisive game in the battle for the final Europa League spot.
Athletic Bilbao vs Alaves Match Preview
The battle for 7th was about the only thing still up for discussion this time last year. Fortunately there is plenty more to keep an eye on at both ends this term but this Saturday’s match between Athletic Club and Alaves has the feel of a 7th place showdown. Alaves have been the highest ranked of the Basque clubs for virtually the entire season but they’ve been caught by Athletic over the past couple of weeks and it’s now Alaves who are playing catch-up here.
Victory for the hosts would all but guarantee European football, a remarkable turnaround given where they were in the Autumn. They may even think they can climb a place higher than 7th which would be a huge bonus as it would most likely see them straight into the group stages of the Europa League rather than the 2nd Qualifying Round. They still have one or two injuries to contend with here but Gaizka Garitano is boosted by the return of Raul Garcia from suspension which adds to his midfield options.
Alaves have hit their first real poor run of form of the season. An injury to impressive centre-back Guillermo Maripán has been untimely and has contributed to this current 6 game winless streak. In truth though Alaves have over-achieved this season and it’s no great surprise that they haven’t managed to last the distance in the race for the top four and even Europa League football is looking tough now.
They really need a win here to stay firmly in the hunt for that but Athletic are strong favourites and they remain unbeaten at home in La Liga under Gaizka Garitano.
Check out all our La Liga predictions this week.
Athletic Bilbao vs Alaves Predictions
Score Prediction: 2-1 Athletic Club
Athletic have more quality and with home advantage, they should have the edge here. It is worth noting though that they rarely win by more than a single goal. All of their last 4 victories have been by one goal margins and only twice this season have they won by two or more in La Liga.
Athletic Club vs Alaves H2H
- Last 6 meetings: 1 Athletic Win, 2 Alaves Wins, 3 Draws.
- The sides drew 0-0 in Vitoria earlier this season.
- Athletic have only beaten Alaves once since their return to the top flight, a 2-0 win here last term.
- Alaves’ last victory in Bilbao was a 2-0 success in November 2005.
One to Watch – Iñaki Williams
200 (154 in LaLiga) games milestone reached for Iñaki Williams in Athletic, still only 24-years old. Incredibly, has played in Athletic’s last 115 LaLiga games in a row too. pic.twitter.com/YAuxoCmDxM
— Talking LaLiga (@TalkingLaLiga) April 25, 2019
Alaves have some selection issues at centre-back and Iñaki Williams will be hoping to take full advantage.
Follow La Liga Expert on Twitter for the latest updates and live tweets from the games.
Check out our Spanish football blog for deeper analysis of life in La Liga.
Predicted Line Ups
Athletic Club Team:
Herrerin – Marcos, Martinez, Nunez, Yuri – Etxebarria, San Jose – Muniain, Garcia, Cordoba – Williams (4-2-3-1)
Pacheco – Duarte, Ely, Laguardia, Navarro – Jony, Pina, Garcia, Inui – Guidettia, Calleri (4-4-2)
Preview via Daniel Garcia – Contact: email@example.com