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Sep 21, 2021 at 9pm UK
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
1-2
Rayo VallecanoRayo Vallecano
Ciss (33' og.)
Nunez (16'), Muniain (56'), Martinez (90+5')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Garcia (5'), Falcao (90+6')
Catena (7'), Guardiola (42'), Maras (83')

Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs. Rayo Vallecano - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs. Rayo Vallecano - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Rayo Vallecano, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Following a dominant 3-0 victory last time out, Rayo Vallecano will look to continue their strong start to life back in La Liga on Tuesday, when they travel to take on Athletic Bilbao.

The newly-promoted outfit currently occupy 10th spot in the La Liga table with seven points from their opening five games, while Tuesday's hosts sit two points better off in fifth place.


Match preview

After a somewhat underwhelming 10th-placed finish last season, Athletic Bilbao have enjoyed a relatively strong start to the new campaign.

After back-to-back draws to start, Marcelino's men put their first three-point haul on the board with a 1-0 away victory over Celta Vigo.

The Basque outfit then made it consecutive victories, as Dani Vivian and Inaki Williams fired them to a 2-0 home win over Mallorca, before earning a commendable point against Atletico Madrid last time out.

Athletic Club held the defending champions to a goalless draw to extend their unbeaten run, and Marcelino's side will now look to return to winning ways and continue their strong start in style.

That will be no easy task though, as they meet a Rayo Vallecano side full of optimism after an impressive start of their own.

Following their promotion from the second tier last term, Andoni Iraola's side had a tough start to the campaign, losing consecutive games to Sevilla and Real Sociedad.

They managed to bounce back though, thrashing Granada 4-0 thanks to goals from Alvaro Garcia, Oscar Trejo, Randy Nteka and Santiago Comesana, before earning a creditable point against Levante.

Los Vallecanos now come into the game on the back of a dominant 3-0 victory over Getafe, as Trejo opened the scoring early before Pathe Ciss and Radamel Falcao netted late goals.

Having come up with the ultimate objective of cementing themselves as a top-flight outfit, Iraola's men will look to continue building momentum to ensure they avoid being dragged into a battle at the bottom end of the table.

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

Rayo Vallecano La Liga form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Athletic Bilbao have several concerns to deal with, as Yuri Berchiche and Peru Nolaskoain will both miss out, while Oscar De Marcos, Inigo Cordoba and Yeray Alvarez are all doubts.

After an impressive clean sheet against Atletico Madrid, Marcelino should not change his back line, with Inigo Martinez and Dani Vivian continuing to partner up at the heart of the defence.

Meanwhile, the attacking core will remain the same, with Iker Muniain and Alex Berenguer operating on the flanks and Inaki Williams leading the line alongside Raul Garcia.

Rayo Vallecano's only injury issue should be Martin Merquelanz, and Iraola will only make limited changes after their impressive victory last time out.

One change could be the introduction of star signing Radamel Falcao, who scored off the bench and is yet to start for his new side.

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; Lekue, Vivian, Martinez, Balenziaga; Berenguer, Vencedor, Garcia, Muniain; Williams, Garcia

Rayo Vallecano possible starting lineup:
Dimitrievski; Balliu, Saveljich, Catena, D Garcia; Comesana, Ciss; Palazon, Trejo, Bebe; Falcao


We say: Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Rayo Vallecano

While both sides come in with confidence, the hosts boast the stronger squad and should have enough to get over the line.

Marcelino's men boast quality all over the pitch and will look to continue their unbeaten start with a win on home turf.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid852122101217
2Atletico MadridAtletico8521116517
3Real Sociedad8521117417
4Sevilla7421103714
5Osasuna84221111014
6Rayo Vallecano8413138513
7Athletic Bilbao834174313
8Valencia8332128412
9Barcelona7331117412
10Real Betis8332119212
11Villarreal725083511
12Mallorca8323712-511
13Espanyol823368-29
14ElcheElche823358-39
15CadizCadiz8143711-47
16Celta Vigo8215711-47
17Granada8134612-66
18Levante8044613-74
19AlavesAlaves7106212-103
20Getafe8017313-101
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