Athletic Club vs Osasuna predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga match. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as two mid-table sides clash at San Mames.
|Date||Saturday 8th May 2021|
|Kick-Off||21:00 (local time)|
Athletic Club vs Osasuna Preview
Saturday’s LaLiga action wraps up with a mid-table fixture between Athletic Club and Osasuna at San Mamés. While the visitors are virtually safe from relegation having reached the 40-point mark, Athletic at 45 points, six less than seventh-placed Betis, still have an outside chance of qualifying for Europe.
Interestingly, Los Leones have been playing a catalytic role in the title race recently. After their huge win over league leaders Atlético on matchday 32, they put a big dent on Sevilla’s title aspirations with a 1-0 win at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán on Monday. Their patience and persistence throughout the game paid off right at the death when Iñaki Williams sealed it with a delightful finish following a fast-paced counter in the 90th minute. Unai Simón made some wonderful saves throughout the match and led Athletic to their first league win away at Sevilla since 2011.
The aftermath of the two Copa del Rey final defeats last month saw injuries to a lot of Athletic’s key first team players, which means youngsters like Oihan Sancet, Jon Morcillo and Nico Williams are earning valuable game time. It’s fair to say they’ve not disappointed coach Marcelino.
While Athletic have lost only one of their last 14 LaLiga matches, the reason why they are not directly in the hunt for European qualification is the number of games they draw. 9 of the last 14 matches have been stalemates, most of them against teams from the bottom-half of the table. Marcelino’s men have to start converting the draws into wins in these final four games, but their top-7 chances will still largely depend on the results of teams above them.
Osasuna have enjoyed a remarkable 2021 and with them sitting comfortably in 11th spot, there’s not a lot remaining to fight for this season. Jagoba Arrasate will look to begin preparations for the next season which would be Osasuna’s third in a row in the top flight. It’s also nice for Los Rojillos to have striker Chimy Ávila back after his long-term injury. These last few matches present a great opportunity for the Argentine to ease back into the squad and regain full match fitness.
Last Saturday, Chimy started his first match in more than 15 months as Osasuna were beaten 2-0 at Valdebebas by title-chasing Real Madrid. He thought he had headed Osasuna into the lead before half time, only for the flag to go up for offside. Arrasate’s side held their own for the majority of the match but were undone late on by goals from Éder Militão and Casemiro in the 76th and 80th minute respectively.
That was Osasuna’s second consecutive loss after a three-match winning run which saw them beat Villarreal, Elche and Valencia. Following Saturday’s visit to Bilbao, they host Cádiz in midweek before ending the season with tough games versus Atlético and Real Sociedad. If all goes well for Los Rojillos, they could finish in the top 10 in consecutive seasons for only the second time in this century.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 3 Athletic Wins, 2 Osasuna Wins, 1 Draw.
- Athletic have won 4 of the last 6 meetings in Bilbao.
- Osasuna won 1-0 at San Mames on their last visit in 2020.
- They were also 1-0 winners in the reverse fixture earlier this term.
Athletic have a host of absentees. Raúl García suffered a calf injury in the last game. Both full-backs Ander Capa and Yuri Berchiche are unavailable. Defender Iñigo Martínez and captain Iker Muniain are doubtful. Iñigo Lekue tested positive for COVID-19 and Dani García is in isolation after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Osasuna’s Jonathan Calleri, Manu Sánchez and Rubén Martínez are definitely out. Oier Sanjurjo is suspended after picking up a needless booking while on the bench last week in Madrid.
Predicted Athletic Starting Lineup:
Simón – Balenziaga, Yeray, Núñez, de Marcos – Morcillo, Vencedor, Vesga, Berenguer – Sancet, Williams (4-4-2)
Predicted Osasuna Starting Lineup:
Herrera – Cruz, David, Aridane, Vidal – Brašanac, Moncayola, Martínez – Rubén, Ávila, Barja (4-3-3)
Athletic Club vs Osasuna Prediction: 1-1 Draw
Athletic obviously arrive into this fixture with more momentum after their win in Seville. But draws have been the norm at San Mamés recently and we might see another one on Saturday. Both sides, especially Athletic due to their depleted squad, are unlikely to risk too much given that there’s another round of league games in the mid-week.