Athletic Bilbao vs Espanyol predictions, H2H and match preview for this Wednesday’s clash in La Liga. Read on for analysis and predicted line-ups as the Basques aim to end a five game winless streak against Pablo Machin’s men.
Athletic Bilbao vs Espanyol Preview
This is a significant game for both clubs. Athletic have hit a rocky patch for perhaps the first time since they appointed Gaizka Garitano roughly twelve months ago. They will see this as a good opportunity to return to winning ways but they are up against an Espanyol side that may be starting to find its feet under new boss Pablo Machin.
Athletic have only suffered one home league defeat under Garitano but that did come only last month and their only home game since then also resulted in a frustrating draw against Real Valladolid. Saturday’s loss at the Wanda Metropolitano leaves Athletic without a win in 5 games and they continue to struggle for goals with an average of just 0.8 per game so far this season in La Liga.
Espanyol’s record is even worse than that but for just about the first time this season, they do carry a bit of momentum into this game. They were victorious in Europe last week and crucially backed that up by winning 1-0 at Levante in La Liga at the weekend. Back-to-back wins at least suggest the Pablo Machin era now has lift-off. They remain rooted in the drop-zone but would be only 2 points off 10th place Athletic were they to win this one.
Playing three games in the space of seven or eight days offers teams a real chance to make a quick charge up the table and that would be the dream outcome for Machin and his team but one glance at Athletic’s home record over the past twelve months makes it clear who the favourites are here.
Athletic Bilbao vs Espanyol Predictions
Score Prediction: 1-1 Draw
There can be no question that Gaizka Garitano has done a terrific job in Bilbao but you do have to wonder whether this Athletic side really has enough quality to push on and find another level from the one they’ve regularly reached in 2019. They are heavily reliant on Iker Muniain for imagination and creativity and they really would be struggling were it not for the goal contributions of Raul Garcia from midfield this term. For all their problems, only two sides have picked up more away points than Espanyol in La Liga this season and they look like they might be able to grind out a point here.
Athletic Bilbao vs Espanyol H2H
- Last 6 competitive meetings: 1 Athletic Win, 2 Espanyol Wins, 3 Draws.
- Espanyol haven’t lost to Athletic in either of the last two seasons, home or away.
- All of the last 6 meetings have seen two or fewer goals.
- Athletic’s last win over Espanyol came in April 2017 – 2-0 at San Mames.
Predicted Line Ups
Simon – Yuri, Martinez, Yeray, Capa – Dani Garcia, Lopez – Cordoba, Raul Garcia, Muniain – Williams (4-2-3-1)
Diego Lopez – Bernardo, David Lopez, Naldo – Pedrosa, Darder, Roca, Sanchez, Gomez – Vargas, Ferreyra (3-5-2)