Athletic Club vs Espanyol predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups as the hosts aim to continue their bright start to the season.
|Date||Sunday 4th September 2022|
|Kick-Off||16:15 (local time)|
Athletic Club vs Espanyol Preview
On Sunday we are in the Basque Country as Athletic Bilbao host Espanyol in the Estadio San Mamés. We should be in for an interesting match.
Athletic have started the season very brightly. The returning Ernesto Valverde has made a huge impact on his side already with two wins and one draw so far with no goals conceded. A fantastic display in their last outing saw them beat Cádiz 4-0 in the Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla.
There was a superb goal in the first half from Iñaki Williams who could have also made it two but had his tame penalty saved. Los Leones went up a gear in the second half and really dominated. Gorka Guruzeta was next on the scoresheet followed by a goal from Alex Berenguer and then another in stoppage time by Guruzeta.
In the transfer market, another former player has returned to strengthen Valverde’s side. Ander Herrera joins on a season long loan with an option to buy at the end of the season. Athletic will be looking for another great performance here and to carry on their rich vein of form.
Espanyol haven’t had the best start to the season and are in need of a win. In their last outing they were a little shell shocked. Los Periquitos were up against champions Real Madrid and Diego Martínez’s side looked a little vulnerable at the start conceding early to a Vinicius Junior goal but really grew into the game and responded very well to being a goal down. New signing Joselu got the well-deserved equaliser just before half time and going into the second half Espanyol were very much in the match until UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year Karim Benzema scored in the 87th minute after a sublime cross from Rodrygo, before Benzema scored again in stoppage time.
Head Coach Diego Martínez will need his side to dust themselves down and forget about that result and come back stronger in this one. A win here would be a massive confidence boost for the Coach and players. Some new faces arrived before the transfer window closed and will help boost this squad. Danish striker Martin Braithwaite has joined on a three year deal after neighbours Barcelona terminated his contract. Also coming in is goalkeeper Álvaro Fernández who has joined on loan from Huesca until the end of the season.
Team News & Possible Lineups
|DOUBTFUL||Inaki Williams, Agirrezabala, Inigo Martinez, Yuri|
Possible XI: Simon – Lekue, Vivian, Yeray, De Marcos – Muniain, Vesga, Sancet – Berenguer, Guruzeta, Nico Williams (4-3-3)
Coach: Ernesto Valverde
|DOUBTFUL||Lozano, De Tomas|
|BANNED||Sergi Gomez, Lecomte|
Possible XI: Fernandez – Olivan, Cabrera, Calero, Gil – Exposito, Souza – Puado, Darder, Sanchez – Joselu (4-2-3-1)
Coach: Diego Martinez
Score Prediction: Athletic Club 2-1 Espanyol
These games are normally very tight. Expect to see the same here. Form plays a big part at the start of the season and Athletic are in form and genuinely looking the better team at the moment. Espanyol won’t give up and will go for it but that could be their downfall.
PLEASE NOTE – Our LaLiga predictions are not betting tips! No profits are guaranteed if you’re using them to bet on Spanish football. If you are gambling, do so responsibly and never stake more than you can afford to lose. BeGambleAware.