Alaves vs Athletic Club predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for expert analysis, the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups ahead of this Basque derby.
|Sunday 9th January 2022
|18:30 (local time)
Alaves vs Athletic Club Preview
Alaves and Athletic Club face off in a derby this weekend as José Luis Mendilibar’s start to life in Vitoria continues with another all-Basque showdown. The hosts could really do with a positive result as they look to climb out of the relegation zone.
Alaves are a club that has chopped and changed in recent years but always managed to stay afloat. They are into their sixth season at this level, their longest run in the top flight in the club’s history and on the surface, they appear to have gone for another quick fix in the shape of the experienced Mendilibar who has signed a deal until the end of the season.
He got off to a pretty decent start with Alaves very competitive in their 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad last weekend. We already saw signs of this team adapting to the Mendilibar way with Alaves managing to fire off 19 shots on goal, the most by any side on matchday 19, despite only having 34% possession. They should get much more of the ball here though against an Athletic side that is often happy to play on the break.
It has been a positive start to 2022 for Athletic Club who are now one year into Marcelino’s time at the helm. They came from behind to win 3-1 at Osasuna on Monday with Oihan Sancet firing in a hat-trick. That’s a really positive sign for the club moving forward as Athletic have been desperate to find a striker for some time and while 21 year old Sancet is an attacking midfielder by trade, he is showing signs of real maturity now and has developed the kind of physical presence which may allow him to operate as a more orthodox striker.
Sancet will be one man Alaves will be looking to stop here but they will also have to keep an eye out for Inaki Williams. Mendilibar’s favoured high-pressing game, does potentially leave them vulnerable to counter-attacks and Williams has all the pace in the world to exploit that. It was brother Nico who was Athletic’s hero in midweek though, with the 19 year old scoring both goals in a 2-0 win at Atletico Mancha in the Copa del Rey.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 2 Alaves Wins, 2 Athletic Wins, 2 Draws.
- Athletic won the reverse meeting 1-0 earlier this term.
- There have only been 2 goals in the last 3 meetings.
- Alaves have won the last 2 meetings in Vitoria with 2-1 and 1-0 league wins in 2020.
Ximo Navarro is out for Alaves while Pere Pons is rated doubtful.
Athletic have no fresh issues but still have doubts over Ander Capa and Asier Villalibre.
Alaves vs Athletic Club Predictions
Score Prediction: Alaves 1-1 Athletic Club
This is a tough one to call. Alaves did show signs of a reaction in their first game under Mendilibar and they were certainly better than they had been in recent games under Javi Calleja. They look capable of at least getting another draw here and given 7 of Athletic’s 10 away league games this term have ended level, that looks the most likely outcome.
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