Athletic Bilbao vs Alaves Predictions

Athletic Bilbao vs Alaves predictions for this La Liga affair at San Mames. Athletic Bilbao aims for back-to-back La Liga wins hosting Basque rival Alaves on Saturday night. Read on for our free La Liga predictions and betting tips.

Athletic Bilbao
Alaves

La Liga | Gameweek 29 – Mar 16, 2024 at 8pm UK at San Mames Barria

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Athletic Bilbao vs Alaves Predictions

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A Clash of Ambitions: Athletic’s European Dream Faces Alaves’s Survival Spirit

Key Stats

Athletic Bilbao’s Home Dominance: 10 wins from 14 matches at San Mames this season.

Alaves’s Scoring Drought: Only four goals in their last six La Liga fixtures.

Defensive Solidity: Athletic Bilbao have kept 14 clean sheets this season, showcasing their defensive prowess.

In the heart of Basque Country, an intriguing La Liga encounter is set to unfold as Athletic Bilbao welcomes Alaves to San Mames. With both teams coming off victories, the stage is set for a fiercely contested match that encapsulates more than just three points. Athletic Bilbao’s ambition for European football clashes with Alaves’s drive for top-flight stability, promising a tactical battle rich in local rivalry.

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Team Dynamics and Tactical Outlook

Athletic Bilbao, under the guidance of Ernesto Valverde, have showcased a blend of resilience and flair, positioning themselves as serious contenders for European qualification. Their recent form, a testament to their balanced approach, has seen them navigating past both high-flyers and relegation scrappers alike. The expected line-up, led by the dynamic Inaki Williams and the industrious Oihan Sancet, suggests a focus on penetrating attacks and swift transitions. The absence of Yuri Berchiche and Ander Herrera might pose challenges, yet Athletic’s depth allows for tactical flexibility and solid defensive organisation.

Alaves, managed by Luis Garcia, arrive with a point to prove. Despite their modest position, their performance levels have defied expectations, especially given their recent 1-0 triumph over Rayo Vallecano. Garcia’s side, featuring the likes of Samu Omorodion and Andoni Gorosabel, has demonstrated capability in tight games, relying on disciplined defending and opportunistic attacking. However, their away form remains a concern, with a struggle to find consistency on their travels.

Key Battles and Strategic Nuances

This match will likely be decided in the midfield, where Athletic’s Ruiz de Galarreta and Prados aim to control the tempo and dictate play. Their ability to break Alaves’s compact structure and feed the likes of Nico Williams and Guruzeta will be crucial. Conversely, Alaves’s Guevara and Blanco must disrupt Athletic’s rhythm, offering a platform for quick counters to exploit spaces behind Athletic’s attacking full-backs, De Marcos and Lekue.

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The duel between Inaki Williams’s pace and Alaves’s defensive resilience, spearheaded by Marin and Abqar, could prove decisive. Williams’s directness and Sancet’s creativity versus Alaves’s tactical discipline under Garcia’s watchful eye will be fascinating to watch.

Tactical Decisions and Managerial Insight

Ernesto Valverde’s experience and tactical acumen have been instrumental in Athletic’s pursuit of European football. His ability to blend youth with experience, ensuring depth and flexibility, contrasts with Luis Garcia’s commendable job at Alaves. Garcia, despite limited resources, has instilled a sense of belief and tactical discipline, making Alaves tough to break down. However, Valverde’s superior tactical nous and home advantage should see Athletic through in this Basque derby.

Analysis and Predictions

Best Bet: Athletic Bilbao to Win to Nil

Athletic’s formidable home record, combined with Alaves’s struggles on the road, leans towards a win for the hosts without conceding. Bilbao’s defence, one of the stingiest in La Liga, against an Alaves side that has found goals hard to come by away from home, sets the stage for a clean sheet for Valverde’s men.

Correct Score: Athletic Bilbao 2-0 Alaves

Echoing the historical encounters and considering both teams’ recent forms, a 2-0 victory for Athletic seems plausible. Bilbao’s attacking quality, coupled with Alaves’s conservative approach in away fixtures, suggests a scoreline that mirrors their previous meetings.

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Goalscorer Prediction: Gorka Guruzeta to Score

Guruzeta, having led the line with poise and purpose, stands out as the likely candidate to find the back of the net. His movement off the ball and proficiency in front of goal make him a prime contender to score, especially with Athletic’s midfield maestros likely to create numerous opportunities.

Corner Prediction: Athletic Bilbao to Have More Corners, Total Corners: Under 10

Given Athletic’s attacking style and tendency to push full-backs forward, they are likely to win more corners. However, considering Alaves’s defensive setup and the game’s expected tightness, the total number of corners might not be high, likely staying under 10.

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Gerard Gabasa
Gerard Gabasa is our go-to football expert for all things Spanish. His passion for the game is evident in every analysis he offers. Having played professionally with Málaga's youth team, Gerard blends firsthand experience with deep insights. While he didn't ascend to the senior ranks, this stint enriched his understanding of the game's nuances. Over the years, Gerard has crafted in-depth match analyses and player evaluations that showcase his profound knowledge. With Gerard, expect a seasoned perspective on Spanish football every time.