Athletic Club vs Villarreal match preview and predictions for Sunday’s LaLiga match. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the hosts aim to keep their recent revival going.
- DATE: Sunday February 21st 2021
- KICK-OFF: 21:00 (local time)
- STADIUM: San Mames
- COMPETITION: LaLiga
Athletic Club vs Villarreal Preview
We head to San Mames for the Sunday night game in LaLiga this weekend as two of the best teams outside the current top four clash. Athletic have found a new lease of life under Marcelino and they are bidding to close the gap on the top six and boost their European prospects by defeating a Villarreal side that is currently in 6th place.
Athletic have had almost a week off to prepare for this, a rare luxury given their cup commitments so far in 2021. They should take confidence into it after a very impressive 4-0 win at Cadiz on Monday night further underlined the progress they are making.
It’s just one defeat in 10 outings in all competitions now for the Basque giants. That sole defeat came at Camp Nou and right now the Marcelino honeymoon period continues to roll on nicely. They have the 2nd Leg of their Copa del Rey Semi-Final to look forward to, but that’s not until the week after next so they’ve no reason to worry about resting players or rotating here. They will though be forced into a couple of changes from the Cadiz win due to suspensions.
Villarreal meanwhile had to negotiate a European trip this week and they did that very well, winning 2-0 away to Champions League dropouts RB Salzburg in the first knockout round of the Europa League. That should enable Unai Emery to rotate slightly in next Thursday’s 2nd Leg which may impact on the team he’s able to pick here.
It was a much needed win in truth for a side that had only won one of their previous seven games with too many draws starting to have a damaging impact on their season. That could still be a problem for Villarreal in LaLiga as they no longer look absolute certainties to make the top six with Betis closing in and their opponents finding some real form. Europa League qualification should still be very achievable for Villarreal but lose here, and this season could start to get a bit more complicated with their current continental commitments potentially getting in the way of their run-in in LaLiga.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 2 Athletic Wins, 1 Villarreal Win, 3 Draws.
- 3 of the last 4 meetings have been drawn.
- Villarreal haven’t beaten Athletic since a 3-0 win at San Mames in September 2018.
- They lost 1-0 here last season.
Unai Nunez and Mikel Vesga are both suspended for Athletic.
Manu Trigueros returns from a ban. Unai Emery may rotate slightly after their European trip.
Predicted Athletic Starting Lineup:
Simon – Yuri, Martinez, Yeray, Capa – Muniain, Garcia, Vencedor, De Marcos – Garcia, Williams (4-4-2)
Predicted Villarreal Starting Lineup:
Asenjo – Pedraza, Torres, Albiol, Pena – Trigueros, Capoue, Parejo – Gomez, Alcacer, Moreno (4-3-3)
Athletic Club vs Villarreal Predictions
Score Prediction: Athletic Club 2-1 Villarreal
Athletic have made a great start to life under Marcelino and they are playing with so much confidence all of a sudden. Villarreal have a bit more quality on paper, but they haven’t fully convinced of late and lost at home to Betis in their last league game. With a bit of fatigue from their trip to Austria thrown in, they may just get edged out here.
Athletic Club vs Villarreal Betting Tips (18+)
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