Preview - Villareal vs Athletic Bilbao 10 April 2018

Started by Harry85, Apr 07, 2018, 05:11 AM

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Match Day 31
Villareal vs Athletic Bilbao
Tuesday, April 8th, 2018
04:00 am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Estadio de la CerĂ¡mica

Last five matches form: L L W W L
Average goals per match: 1.33
Average goals against per match: 1.13
Top Scorer: Carlos Bacca (9)

Athletic Bilbao:
Last five matches form: L W L L D
Average goals per match: 1.00
Average goals against per match: 1.13
Top Scorer: Aritz Aduriz ( 8 )

The final game of Match Day 31 comes in Villareal as the Yellow Submarines look to keep their bid for Europa League qualification on track against visiting Athletic Bilbao. Bilbao themselves have little to play for, sitting comfortably clear of the relegation zone but with no real chance of making the European places.

Both sides should be close to full strength for this clash, with the only real injury concerns for both Villareal and Bilbao involving squad players rather than starters.

Athletic Bilbao have lost their past four away from home by a 2-0 score-line, although in mitigation two of those losses came at the hands of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Villareal haven't been the most reliable at home this season, a fact well illustrated by their two most recent results on home soil, following up a defeat at the hands of Girona with a win over second placed Atletico Madrid. The result of this will likely depend upon which Villareal turns up on the day.

Overall though we still just favour Javier Calleja's men to come away with the points. They are the better side overall and need this more than Bilbao. The pair fought out a 1-1 draw in Bilbao earlier in the season and this may again be tight. Villareal for the win, but only just.

Prediction: Villareal 2 - 1 Athletic Bilbao


Half time: 0 - 1
Full time: 1 - 3
Shots: 7 - 17
Shots on target: 2 - 13
Corner Kicks: 3 - 6
Possession: 50% - 50%

There was certainly no love lost between these two sides on the night. Referee Ignacio Iglesias having his hand in his pocket more often than not. Daniele Bonera, Carlos Bacca and Sergio Asenjo were booked for the home side, who also had Alvaro Gonzalez sent off for two bookable offences. Bilbao were almost equally as ill disciplined, with Inigo Martinez, Unai Nunez, Ander Iturraspe, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Oscas de Marcos all having their names taken.

The visitors were in front after just four minutes here. Inaki Williams beating the keeper to the ball down the right before clipping a ball towards the back-left corner of the box. Inigo Cordoba was the man racing in to finish really well with a first-time volley into the bottom corner.

The second came in the 51st minute. Inaki Williams releasing Raul Garcia with a clever flick. Sergio Asenjo saved Garcia's effort, but Williams was on hand to race in and slot home the rebound.

Carlos Bacca got one back in the 67th minute. A blunder from Unai Nunez resulting in the striker racing through on goal. He didn't miss. 1-2 and a potentially frantic finale.

Bilbao's two goal advantage was restored in the 87th minute. Raul Garcia's cross come shot from the right-hand corner of the box being deflected into the path of Iker Muniain to finish from point blank range. 1-3 final score.

An impressive away display from Bilbao, particularly considering they have so little left to play for this season. Villareal simply couldn't live with them on the day but do stay sixth and in the final Europa League spot. With Sevilla now just a point behind though, things could get pretty tight on the run in.

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