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Jul 9, 2020 at 9pm UK
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
Capa (28')
Nunez (31'), de Marcos (68'), Garcia (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Banega (69'), El Haddadi (74')
Banega (44'), Ocampos (65')

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

:Headline: Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs. Sevilla - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla, including team news and predicted lineups.

Athletic Bilbao will be looking to return to winning ways and keep their top-six hopes alive when they welcome Sevilla to San Mames on Thursday evening.

Gaizka Garitano's side fell 1-0 to Real Madrid at the weekend and are five points off a European spot, while Sevilla are well on their way to sealing a top-four finish.

Match preview

After missing out on a place in Europe in back-to-back seasons, it looks as though continental football will again be absent from San Mames in 2020-21.

Saturday's loss to league leaders Madrid - Sergio Ramos's 73rd-minute penalty proving the difference in that one - leaves the Basque outfit down in eighth place.

There is a six-point buffer on Getafe in the final Europa League qualifying spot and only four games left to play, including this tough test against high-flying Sevilla.

Los Nervionense have seen off Leganes and Eibar in their last two matches without conceding to tighten their grip on fourth place.

Going further back, it is 11 league matches without defeat for Sevilla and they are also through to the last 16 of the Europa League.

The immediate aim for Julen Lopetegui will be nailing down fourth, with the gap on Villarreal standing at six points.

Atletico Madrid have been in good form since the restart and are now two points ahead of Sevilla, but Lopetegui will no doubt be looking up the table rather than down.

Sevilla are out to make it six away league matches without defeat, which is something that they last achieved in 2015 when Unai Emery was in charge.

However, they have lost their last nine trips to San Mames and have failed to score in five of those matches, making them Athletic's favourite opponents.

Should that losing run continue in midweek, and Villarreal come away with all three points against Getafe, then it may yet be a tense final week or so to the season for Sevilla.

Athletic Bilbao's La Liga form: DWLWWL

Sevilla's La Liga form: DDDDWW

Team News

Raul Garcia picked up another booking against Madrid at the weekend and will therefore serve an automatic suspension.

Oscar de Marcos is the most likely option to come into midfield alongside Unai Lopez, with Inaki Williams spearheading the attack.

The hosts will also be without Yeray Alvarez after he limped off last time out, so Inigo Martinez is likely to be partnered by Unai Nunez at centre-back.

As for Sevilla, goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik is in a race to be fit after injuring his knee against Eibar, meaning that Yassine Bounou may come in for just a second league start of the season.

Lopetegui is expected to go with Munir El-Haddadi on the left of his front three - the Spanish forward has scored three goals in his last five league meetings with Athletic, all for different teams.

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; Capa, Nunez, Martinez, Yuri; Garcia, Lopez; Marcos, Muniain, Cordoba; William

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Vaclik; Navas, Kounde, Carlos, Escudero; Jordan, Fernando, Banega; Ocampos, De Jong, Munir

We say: Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Sevilla

Athletic have a pretty incredible home record against Sevilla, winning nine in a row at San Mames. That kind of statistic cannot be looked past, so we are going with a narrow victory for Garitano's charges.

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