Valencia vs Athletic Club predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news, predicted lineups and fantasy football picks as two European hopefuls meet.
|Saturday 25th September 2021
|16:15 (local time)
Valencia vs Athletic Club Preview
Valencia and Athletic Club meet in a battle between two teams who may be operating in a similar area of the league this season. Both will be hoping to sustain a push for European football. Time will tell whether there is quite enough quality in either squad to do that but at the very least they look possible contenders for that 7th place which may be good enough for Conference League football in 2021/22.
There have been a few reality checks over the past week though for Valencia with Jose Bordalas’ honeymoon period coming to an end. They conceded twice in the final five minutes to lose at home to Real Madrid last weekend and suffered something of a hangover from that in Seville in midweek, conceding 3 times in the opening 22 minutes to effectively be out of the game before it had really got going.
In fairness, some significant injury problems have not helped matters. Jose Gaya and Carlos Soler are two of Valencia’s most important players in a squad that is relatively short on stars these days, so losing both to injury has made it tough for Los Che, particularly given how brilliantly Soler started the campaign. They look like they will be without both men again here which is a worry but the form of youngster Hugo Duro has been one bright spot over the past week with the former Getafe forward scoring against both Real Madrid and Sevilla.
As for Athletic Club, their bright start also came to a fairly sudden halt in midweek with a shock home defeat against newly promoted Rayo Vallecano. Radamel Falcao struck a 96th minute winner for the Madrid side at San Mames to inflict a first loss for Marcelino’s men this season. They’d only conceded one goal in five matches prior to that game and will be hoping to get back on track here with a more assured defensive display.
Marcelino did rotate in midweek which may in part explain why it wasn’t quite such a strong showing. There was a start for Nico Williams while his brother was left on the bench along with the likes of Alex Berenguer, Unai Vencedor and Dani Vivian. Athletic should return to a more familiar XI here as they look to bounce back in the right manner at Mestalla.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 2 Valencia Wins, 1 Athletic Win, 3 Draws.
- Both meetings last season ended level.
- Valencia have won 4 of their last 6 home games against Athletic but none of the last two.
- Only 1 of the last 6 meetings have produced more than 2 goals.
Valencia are missing regulars Jose Gaya, Carlos Soler and Thierry Correia to injury. Jasper Cillessen could earn a recall in goal.
Oihan Sancet, Yuri, and Asier Villalibre are out for the away team due to injuries.
Predicted Valencia Starting Lineup:
Cillessen – Lato, Alderete, Gabriel, Foulquier – Guedes, Guillamon, Wass, Musah – Duro, Gomez (4-4-2)
Predicted Athletic Club Starting Lineup:
Simon – Balenziaga, Martinez, Vivian, Lekue – Muniain, D. Garcia, Vencedor, Berenguer – I. Williams, R. Garcia (4-4-2)
Valencia vs Athletic Club Predictions
Score Prediction: Valencia 0-0 Athletic Club
This is likely to be a tight game and with some key absentees, Valencia may struggle to create much against a disciplined Athletic defence. The visitors may fancy they can nick it but they are still too wasteful in front of goal and a draw may be the more likely outcome.