Preview - Villarreal vs Athletic Bilbao 20 January 19

Started by Harry85, Jan 20, 2019, 03:39 AM

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Match Day 18
Villarreal vs. Athletic Bilbao
Sunday, January 20th 2019
23:15pm (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Estadio de la Cerámica

Last five matches form: L D D D L
Average goals per match: 1.05
Average goals against per match: 1.32
Top Scorer: Gerard Moreno & Carlos Bacca (4)

Athletic Bilbao:
Last five matches form: W D D W W
Average goals per match: 1.05
Average goals against per match: 1.32
Top Scorer: Iñaki Williams (7)

Tough times for Villarreal at present, with the Yellow Submarines threatening to sink below the La Liga surface. Second bottom and four points adrift of safety, they do have time to turn things around but will need to start soon. Next up its this home clash against a side who until recently were in dire straits themselves, Athletic Bilbao.

Villarreal put in what was probably their best performance of the season to date when winning 3-0 in Bilbao earlier in the campaign. Bilbao will have happy memories from their visit here last season tough with the Basque side coming out on top 3-1.

Two injuries for each side in this one, with Bruno Soriano and Manuel Morianes missing out for Villarreal and Mikel Rico and Iñigo Lejue absent for Bilbao.

Villarreal have now won only one of their past 13 in La Liga. They have picked up six draws over this period, but it is wins they need in their current predicament. Having won only one of ten at home so far this season though, it is debatable as to how likely it is that those wins are going to come here. Having failed to score in three of their first four home games, they are at least improving in that regard with nine goals four in their last six here.

Having won only one of their opening fourteen fixtures, and appearing in serious danger of being relegated for the first time in their history, three wins in five now see Bilbao headed back in the right direction, but still only three points clear of the drop. They have lost only three of nine away from home, picking up five draws.

Athletic Bilbao are one of the draw specialists in this league, and can pick up another point on the road despite Villarreal's desperate need for points.

Prediction: Villarreal 2 - 2 Athletic Bilbao


Half time:  0 - 1
Full time: 1 - 1
Shots:  2 - 6
Shots on target: 1 - 2
Corner Kicks: 1 - 3
Possession: 49% - 51%

We actually had more bookings than shots on target in this one in a game that certainly couldn't be described as a thriller. Ramiro Funes Mori, Vicente Iborra, Mario Gaspar and Alvaro Gonzalez were all booked for the home side, with Benat Etxebarria the sole Bilbao player to have his name taken by referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco.

With the sides only mustering a total of three shots on target between them, neither can really feel too hard done by to come away with only a point in the end. Bilbao probably were marginally the better side, but there really wasn't much in it and a share of the spoils was probably the right result.

The away side took the lead in the 18th minute but had a large helping hand from Villarreal defender Jaume Costa. Good break down the left from Bilbao and a decent low ball into the box. Costa didn't have much time to react when attempting to clear and could only succeed in finishing really well into the bottom left corner of his own net. 0-1 at the break.

The home side improved after the break and equalised in the 71st minute. A ball from the right finding Alfonso Pedraza in the left of the area; Pedraza lashing a low ball across goal to find Karl Toko Ekambi sliding in at the far post to finish from point blank range. 1-1 final score.

Villarreal are going to need to start winning some games, particularly at home. The "Yellow Submarines" remain second bottom and three adrift of safety. Bilbao are now up to fifteenth but still only three points clear of the bottom three.

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