Sevilla vs Athletic Bilbao

January 8, 2016
By: Milos Markovic

Following their Copa del Rey midweek successes Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao return to La Liga action with their Saturday’s encounter at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan looking to build up on their positive results.

Sevilla to push for European spots

Copa del Rey 2-0 triumph over Betis away saw Sevilla bounce back from their disappointing 2-1 loss at the hands of Granada at the beginning of 2016. Unai Emery’s men have been struggling on the road this season and the latest away win will most certainly be a slight morale boost. Sevilla are currently sitting in ninth place in the La Liga standings with 26 points on the tally. Los Rojiblancos will be looking to record a win that could possibly see them break into the top six. One thing is certain, with the three points from the Saturday’s duel Emery’s charges would leapfrog Bilbao who are only two points adrift. Sevilla are still recovering from their disappointing UEFA Champions League exit, but Europa League title holders are getting back to the familiar ground as they have won the trophy four times so far and are the most successful club in the competition. Going into their clash with Athletic Bilbao, Sevilla will be pleased to find out that they have lost just once in their last 18 league games at home versus the Basque side. In addition, Unai Emery is yet to suffer a loss at home as a La Liga manager against Athletic Bilbao.

Hosts will have to do without Andreolli, Beto and Nico Pareja, who are struggling with their injuries. In addition, Banega and Rami are suspended for the occasion.

Athletic Bilbao on a run

Los Leones have been in fine form of late, losing only two of their last 15 games in all competitions. What is more, Ernesto Valverde’s side have won ten of those and it is fair to say that Athletic Bilbao have been going through a positive patch. Sitting high in the sixth place, the Basque side have amassed 28 points so far and are three away from Celta Vigo in fifth. Bilbao are travelling to Seville on the back of their fantastic 3-2 win over Villareal. Los Leones made a superb comeback and turnaround against the Yellow Submarine after going 2-0 behind at the interval. Their Copa del Rey success followed a 2-2 draw against Las Palmas and will be enough of a motivation for the team to try and make something out of their trip to Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Athletic Bilbao will have to be cautious heading into the game versus Sevilla as Los Leones have alternated between wins and losses in their last five league games on the road. Inaki Williams will be the one to watch in this game, as the Spanish 21-year-old forward has been in superb form this season. The talented youngster has stepped under the limelight with his 6 league goals while he also added one in the Copa del Rey and 2 more in the UEFA Europa League.

Valverde will have no major selection issues as Ibai Gomez remains the only injured player in the fold. However, Raul Garcia and the team’s top scorer Aritz Aduriz will be unavailable through suspension. The 34-year-old Spanish striker has been the most prolific player in his team with his 11 league goals so far and will be sorely missed.


Plenty at stake for both teams who are pushing up for the European football places this season. Sevilla will be hopeful to exploit the home ground advantage and I see them as slight favourites to come out on top.

Top Pick: Home win   2.1 (11/10) @Bet365

Alternative Pick 1: Half-time/Full-time Home win   3.2 (11/5) @Betfair

Alternative Pick 2: Under 2.5 goals   1.95 (19/20) @10Bet

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