Villarreal vs Athletic Club Match Preview & Predictions

Villarreal vs Athletic Bilbao predictions

Villarreal vs Athletic Club match preview and predictions for Tuesday’s LaLiga match. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as Athletic travel to the Ceramica.

  • DATE: Tuesday 22nd December 2020
  • KICK-OFF: 22:00 (local time)
  • VENUE: Estadio Ceramica

Villarreal vs Athletic Club Preview

Villarreal vs Athletic Club team news

Athletic Club travel to Villarreal in one of the late kick-offs on Tuesday in LaLiga. The hosts are quietly turning into a really competitive team at the top end of this league and they will be the favourites here against an Athletic side that rarely travels well.

It’s now just one defeat in 21 competitive matches so far for Villarreal under Unai Emery who has already gone some way to restoring his reputation following a largely unsuccessful spell in England with Arsenal. While there have been a lot of draws, in flashes Villarreal are a dangerous attacking side and they showcased that at the weekend, with Gerard Moreno scoring a brace in a 3-1 win at Osasuna.

That’s 8 goals for the season now for Moreno, who is putting himself in a strong position to start for Spain at the Euros next summer. He’s now the top scorer in LaLiga and is equally adept at playing through middle or out wide in support of another striker.

What Athletic would give to have somebody capable of that kind of goal return. The Basques again opted against a move for former striker Fernando Llorente in the summer. No Athletic player has scored more than twice so far this season, which is a worry given we’ll only be four games off the halfway mark once this match has been played.

Asier Villalibre is their most natural number nine but struggles to fully convince and is an injury doubt here so we may see the returning Raul Garcia given the job of leading the line. Athletic scored two late goals to see off Huesca at San Mames on Friday night but they’ve not been travelling well and have lost 5 of their 8 road games so far this term.

Read all our midweek LaLiga previews here!

Head to Head

  • Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 1 Villarreal Win, 2 Athletic Wins, 3 Draws.
  • The last two meetings at the Ceramica have both been drawn.
  • Villarreal have won only 1 of the last 5 meetings on their own ground – a 3-1 win in April 2017.
  • Athletic were 1-0 winners when the sides last met – at San Mames in March.

Team News

Villarreal have midfield problems with Francis Coquelin and Vicente Iborra missing through injury. Paco Alcacer is also out again.

Yeray returns from a ban for Athletic. Asier Villalibre is their main injury concern.

Predicted Villarreal Starting Lineup:

Asenjo – Estupinan, Torres, Albiol, Pena – Parejo, Foyth, Trigueros – Gomez, Nino, Moreno (4-3-3)

Predicted Athletic Starting Lineup:

Simon – Berchiche, Martinez, Yeray, Capa – D. Garcia, Vencedor – Berenguer, Muniain, Williams – R. Garcia (4-2-3-1)

Villarreal vs Athletic Predictions

Score Prediction: Villarreal 2-1 Athletic

With the likes of Vicente Iborra and Francis Coquelin missing, Villarreal may struggle to dominate this game in midfield in the way they usually may have and that should offer some encouragement to the visitors. However even if we do get a relatively even match, Villarreal are the side with that extra bit of quality in the final third which could settle it in their favour.

Villarreal vs Athletic Club Betting Tips (18+)

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About Mark Sochon 2069 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has been writing about Spanish football since 2014 and regularly attends and covers matches across Spain. His work has also been published by various newspapers and websites including These Football Times, World Soccer and Guardian Sport. Available for freelance work: marksochon (at)