Athletic Club vs Espanyol predictions and match preview for Monday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for expert analysis, the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as two regulars in the Monday night slot meet.
|Monday 7th February 2022
|21:00 (local time)
Athletic Club vs Espanyol Preview
This matchday in LaLiga concludes on Monday night in Bilbao. San Mames may be somewhat quieter than it was last week for Athletic’s Copa del Rey win over Real Madrid and Marcelino will have one eye on the Semi-Final against Valencia, when he names his team here for the visit of an Espanyol side that is without suspended talisman Raul De Tomas.
As was the case last season, the Copa is now a major target for Athletic with Valencia also visiting Bilbao this week for the 1st Leg of that last four showdown. Alex Berenguer’s late goal sealed victory over Los Blancos and revenge for Athletic after three defeats against Carlo Ancelotti’s side in the previous two months.
It is only the first week of February but Athletic have already beaten all of the so-called “big three” in 2022 and that has to be a sign that they are heading in the right direction. They did need to raise their level a bit after a relatively underwhelming start to the season with four home league defeats already poor by the standards of a side that usually prides themselves on how tough they are to beat at San Mames.
Espanyol won’t exactly travel in fear and will be hoping to catch Athletic cold with this game falling in the middle of two big Copa del Rey games in Bilbao. Espanyol did go to Valencia and win on the final day of 2021 but that remains their only away win so far this term in LaLiga and they’ve made a pretty poor start to 2022.
As well as cup elimination at Mallorca, they’ve only managed to collect 1 point from 3 league games with back-to-back home defeats against Elche and Betis. They were hammered 4-1 by the Seville club in their last outing at the RCDE Stadium with Raul De Tomas’ late red card compounding their woes and making life considerably tougher for them here. They’ve had no fewer than 17 days to stew over that result before this game and they’ll be hungry for a positive result heading into the Barcelona derby next weekend.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 1 Athletic Win, 2 Espanyol Wins, 3 Draws.
- 3 of the last 4 meetings have ended 1-1.
- That includes the reverse fixture earlier this season when Athletic wasted many good chances to win at the RCDE Stadium.
- Athletic have won 3 of the last 5 clashes in Bilbao.
Unai Vencedor y Oihan Sancet are doubtful for Athletic while fellow youngster Nico Williams looks certain to miss out. Marcelino may rotate some players ahead of the Semi-Final with Valencia.
Raul De Tomas is suspended for Espanyol but Leandro Cabrera is available following a ban. Yangel Herrera is likely to miss out injured once more.
Athletic Club vs Espanyol Predictions
Score Prediction: Athletic Club 1-1 Espanyol
It’s tough to call this game and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if we saw Athletic not quite at their best in this one given the cup distractions they have at the moment. However Espanyol’s hopes are severely hampered by the absence of R.D.T. who is by far their biggest goal threat. A draw might be the outcome.
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