Athletic Club vs Mallorca Predictions & Match Preview

Athletic Bilbao vs Mallorca

Athletic Club vs Mallorca predictions and match preview for Monday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups as Ernesto Valverde returns to San Mames for a third spell.

DateMonday 15th August 2022
Kick-Off17:30 (local time)
StadiumSan Mames
CompetitionLaLiga

Athletic Club vs Mallorca Preview


Athletic Club stadium

Bilbao welcomes in the start of another Ernesto Valverde era on Monday. The 58 year old is a popular man in these parts having previously led Athletic between 2003 and 2005 before returning for a successful four year spell in the mid 2010’s. He’ll fancy his chances of a winning return to San Mames with Mallorca the visitors.

Despite almost no transfer activity, it has been a busy summer in Bilbao with fiercely contested presidential elections, largely doubling up as a vote on the next coach following Marcelino’s departure. Jon Uriarte ultimately won the presidency meaning Valverde and not Marcelo Bielsa returned to be Athletic boss once more.

The objective will be to push on and challenge for one of the lesser European places but Valverde has many of the same problems as his predecessor. The goalscoring prowess of Aritz Aduriz was a big factor in Valverde’s success last time around but there is nobody in this current Athletic squad capable of putting up anything like those kinds of numbers. There is hope though that youngsters like Oihan Sancet and Nico Williams are capable of developing into really important players for this Athletic side and it’ll be interesting to see what they can produce this season.

As for Mallorca, they staged a dramatic late escape last season, winning at Osasuna on the final weekend to seal survival. That ended a sequence of five straight seasons which had either ended in promotion or relegation and they’ll be hoping to kick on and try to establish themselves as a top flight club once more.

That may be easier said than done. Everything points towards Mallorca being involved in the relegation scrap again this season. There have been some positives this summer with the permanent signing of Vedat Muriqi important after the Kosovo international played a big role in their survival push. He’s key to how coach Javier Aguirre wants to set this team up but there were still some fairly serious flaws that exposed themselves last term, even after Aguirre took charge. One was the goalkeeper position and Mallorca will be hoping new arrival Predrag Rajkovic solves that issue.


Team News

Athletic

INJUREDAgirrezabala
DOUBTFULInigo Martinez
BANNED

Mallorca

INJUREDGalaretta, Amath, Greif, Angel
DOUBTFUL
BANNED

Possible Lineups

Athletic: Simon – Yuri, Vivian, Yeray, De Marcos – Dani Garcia, Vencedor – Muniain, Sancet, Berenguer – Inaki Williams (4-2-3-1)

Mallorca: Rajkovic – Jaume Costa, Copete, Raillo, Valjent, Maffeo – Baba, Dani Rodriguez, Battaglia – Muriqi, Kang-in (5-3-2)


Score Prediction: Athletic 2-0 Mallorca

Athletic look good to start the third Valverde era with a win with a good atmosphere ensured in Bilbao. Mallorca still look like a team that is a bit short on genuine quality and they may find it tough going again this season and it feels like it may be a losing start for Aguirre and his players.


LaLiga season preview

PLEASE NOTE – Our LaLiga predictions are not betting tips. No profits are guaranteed if you’re using them to bet on football during the 2022/23 season. If you are gambling, do so responsibly and never stake more than you can afford to lose. BeGambleAware.

Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1611 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has also lived in Seville and Barcelona and has written extensively about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer.