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May 7, 2022 at 3.15pm UK at San Mames
Athletic Bilbao
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Alvarez (8'), Williams (77'), de Marcos (90'), Simon (90+9')

Diakhaby (26'), Moriba (53'), Guillamon (72')
Guillamon (90+8')

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

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

Athletic Bilbao will be looking to make it three straight wins in La Liga when they continue their domestic campaign at home to Valencia on Saturday afternoon.

The Basque outfit are currently eighth in the table, five points behind sixth-placed Real Sociedad, while Valencia occupy 10th, eight points behind their opponents this weekend.

Match preview

Athletic have lost just one of their last six in La Liga, recording three wins in the process, including back-to-back victories over Cadiz and Atletico in their last two contests at this level of football.

Last weekend, Marcelino's side recorded a 2-0 win over Atletico, with Inaki Williams netting from the penalty spot in the 56th minute after Mario Hermoso had scored past his own goalkeeper in the first half.

A total of 51 points from 34 matches has left Athletic in eighth position in the table, one point behind seventh-placed Villarreal and now only five from sixth-placed Real Sociedad, so they are in with a chance of securing European football for the 2022-23 campaign.

The Lions have not finished higher than seventh in Spain's top flight since claiming fifth in 2015-16, while they are on course to improve on last season's 10th-place finish in La Liga.

Marcelino's team have won nine, drawn three and lost five of their 17 home league matches this season to gather 30 points, and they will be welcoming a Valencia outfit that have collected 20 points from their 17 games on their travels, which is the 10th-best away record in the division.

Valencia, meanwhile, will enter this match off the back of a 1-1 draw with rivals Levante last weekend; Hugo Duro sent Los Che ahead in the 27th minute of the contest, but Oscar Duarte levelled the scores late on.

The result left Jose Bordalas's side in 10th position in the table, boasting 43 points from their 34 matches courtesy of a record of 10 wins, 13 draws and 11 defeats.

Valencia are without a win in their last five league matches, sharing the points with Cadiz, Rayo Vallecano and Levante, in addition to losing to Osasuna and Villarreal.

Los Che will take on Athletic, Real Betis, Espanyol and Celta Vigo in their final four league games of the campaign, and they will be looking to improve on last season's 13th-place finish, which proved to be their poorest final position at this level of football since the 1987-88 campaign.

Each of the last three league matches between these two sides have finished level, including a 1-1 draw at Mestalla earlier this season, while the corresponding clash last term also ended 1-1.

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

Valencia La Liga form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D

Valencia form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Team News

Athletic will again be missing Oihan Sancet and Asier Villalibre this weekend through injury, but the home side are otherwise in strong shape heading into the contest.

Head coach Marcelino will have been delighted with his team's performance against Atletico last time out, so it would not be a surprise to see the same XI take to the field for the first whistle.

Nico Williams should retain his spot on the right, while Raul Garcia is likely to join Inaki Williams at centre-forward due to the ongoing absences of Sancet and Villalibre.

As for Valencia, Jose Gaya will be absent following his red card in the Valencia derby last weekend, and his usual replacement, Toni Lato, is likely to remain on the sidelines through injury.

Ilaix Moriba is back from a suspension of his own, though, and Bordalas has a number of options in the forward areas, with Maxi Gomez also now available following an injury.

There could be a change to a back four, with Omar Alderete potentially switching across to left-back, while Gomez could come into a front three alongside Duro and Goncalo Guedes.

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; De Marcos, Yeray, Martinez, Yuri; N Williams, D Garcia, Vesga, Muniain; I Williams, R Garcia

Valencia possible starting lineup:
Mamardashvili; Correia, Diakhaby, Paulista, Alderete; Racic, Guillamon, Soler; Duro, Gomez, Guedes

We say: Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Valencia

Valencia are struggling to pick up wins at the moment, but the same cannot be said for Athletic, who will now have sixth-placed Real Sociedad in their sights. Valencia are capable of picking up a positive result here, but we are backing Athletic to secure all three points courtesy of a narrow success.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home 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 Win:data

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La Liga Table
2Athletic Bilbao00000000
3Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
5Celta Vigo00000000
13Rayo Vallecano00000000
14Real Betis00000000
15Real Madrid00000000
16Real Sociedad00000000
17Real Valladolid00000000
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