Valencia vs Athletic Bilbao Predictions

Valencia vs Athletic Bilbao predictions for their La Liga meeting. Athletic Bilbao aims for seventh consecutive win in all competitions, facing a strong Valencia in their next La Liga match on Saturday evening. Will they succeed? Read on for our free match preview and betting tips.

Valencia
Athletic Bilbao

La Liga | Gameweek 21 – Jan 20, 2024 at 5.30pm UK at Estadio de Mestalla

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Valencia vs Athletic Bilbao Predictions

£20 Returns £43

Reason for tip: Inter's strong form and Lecce's struggles suggest an Inter win is likely, with their depth and tactical edge expected to overcome Lecce's home advantage and extend their win streak.

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£10 Returns £120

Reason for tip: Inter's offensive strength and Lecce's defensive issues suggest a win for Inter by two goals. Lecce's home scoring potential, despite Inter's rotations, is noted, yet Inter's quality is expected to dominate.

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Stalemate at Mestalla: Bilbao’s Resolve Meets Valencia’s Resurgence

Key Stats
– Valencia has drawn two of their last three home La Liga matches.
– Athletic Bilbao have drawn two of their last three away La Liga contests.
– Five of the last seven league meetings between these clubs have finished all square.

Athletic Bilbao’s trip to Valencia is a highly-anticipated La Liga clash, with Bilbao riding a wave of success and Valencia finding their form. This fixture at the Mestalla could be pivotal for both teams’ European aspirations.

Team Analysis

Athletic Bilbao: The High-Flying Lions

Ernesto Valverde’s Athletic Bilbao has been one of La Liga’s standout teams. Their defensive solidity, combined with an efficient attack, has seen them climb to third. The absence of key forward Iñaki Williams due to international duty is a challenge, but Bilbao’s depth has been evident in their ability to maintain form.

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Valencia: Finding Form at the Right Time

Valencia, under Ruben Baraja, has shown significant improvement, especially at home. Despite their recent Copa del Rey exit, their form in La Liga has been ascending, with impressive victories that have propelled them into contention for European spots.

Tactical Breakdown and Key Match-ups

  • Athletic’s Defensive Prowess vs Valencia’s Attack: Bilbao’s defence will be tested against Valencia’s revitalised attack, which has been effective in recent outings.
  • Midfield Battle: The contest in midfield could be decisive, with both teams possessing quality in this area.
  • Set-Piece Threat: Both sides have players capable of making a difference from set-pieces, which could be a crucial factor.

Managerial Duel

  • Ernesto Valverde: His experience and tactical acumen have been vital for Bilbao’s success. His ability to adapt without key players will be crucial.
  • Ruben Baraja: Baraja’s impact at Valencia has been positive, but he needs to ensure his team doesn’t lose momentum, especially in crucial home games.

Key Areas for Improvement

  • Athletic Bilbao: Must find ways to compensate for the absence of Iñaki Williams and maintain their attacking threat.
  • Valencia: Need to translate their form into consistency, especially in converting draws into wins.

Expected Lineups and Gameplay Commentary

  • Valencia (4-4-2): Mamardashvili; Foulquier, Mosquera, Paulista, Gaya; Perez, Guillamon, Pepelu, Canos; Duro, D Lopez.
    • Commentary: Valencia is expected to field a balanced 4-4-2 formation, focusing on midfield control and attacking through the wings.
  • Athletic Bilbao (4-2-3-1): Simon; Lekue, Vivian, Paredes, Yuri; Ruiz de Galarreta, Vesga; Berenguer, Sancet, N Williams; Guruzeta.
    • Commentary: Bilbao might opt for a 4-2-3-1 setup, looking to exploit the width of the pitch and using Guruzeta’s presence in the attack.

Predictions

  1. Match Outcome: Draw A draw is a likely outcome considering the form and historical head-to-head records. Both teams have shown resilience and quality, making this matchup evenly poised.
  2. Correct Score Prediction: 2-2 A high-scoring draw is on the cards. Both teams have demonstrated attacking prowess, and despite Athletic’s strong defence, Valencia’s home advantage and offensive capabilities suggest a 2-2 outcome.
  3. Goalscorer Prediction: Hugo Duro (Valencia) Duro, a vital cog in Valencia’s attack, has the potential to find the back of the net in this crucial encounter.
  4. First Half Result: Draw A cautious start from both teams could result in a level score at halftime, setting up an exciting second half.

£20 Returns £43

Reason for tip: Inter's strong form and Lecce's struggles suggest an Inter win is likely, with their depth and tactical edge expected to overcome Lecce's home advantage and extend their win streak.

Best Bookmaker for this selection:

Don't Have a BetVictor Account? Best Sign Up Offer Here

18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days, no cashout. Get 6x £5 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. 7 day bonus expiry. Debit Card / Apple Pay payments only. #AD T&C’s Apply. 18+ | BeGambleAware | #Ad

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£10 Returns £120

Reason for tip: Inter's offensive strength and Lecce's defensive issues suggest a win for Inter by two goals. Lecce's home scoring potential, despite Inter's rotations, is noted, yet Inter's quality is expected to dominate.

Best Bookmaker for this selection:

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Odds corrects at time of posting and subject to change; Stake Limits Might Apply; T&C's Apply; #Ad

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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.