Feb 26, 2021 at 8pm UK
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
Marti (33' pen.)
Coke (41'), Son (47'), Vukcevic (56'), Lopez (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Garcia (56' pen.)
Morcillo (90+4')

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

:Headline: Preview: Levante vs. Athletic Bilbao - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:436551: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Friday's La Liga clash between Levante and Athletic Bilbao, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Levante will be looking to build on last weekend's impressive win over Atletico Madrid when they continue their La Liga campaign at home to Athletic Bilbao on Friday night.

Paco Lopez's side shocked leaders Atletico with a 2-0 victory in Madrid last time out, while Athletic will enter this contest off the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Villarreal.

Match preview

Levante have finished 15th, 15th and 12th in La Liga since returning to this level in 2017-18, but they are currently in the mix for a potential European position in Spain's top flight.

Indeed, a record of seven wins, 10 draws and seven defeats from 24 matches has left them in eighth position in the table, five points off seventh-placed Real Betis and six behind sixth-placed Villarreal.

Levante's last two league matches have both been against Atletico, and they claimed a point against the leaders on February 17 before recording a shock 2-0 victory at Wanda Metropolitano last weekend courtesy of an own goal from Mario Hermoso and late effort from Jorge de Frutos.

Lopez's team now face back-to-back games with Athletic, taking on the Basque side in the league on Friday before hosting them in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey on March 4.

The last-four contest is delicately poised ahead of the second leg as the two teams played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse game on February 11, and it will be fascinating to see which side comes out on top.

Athletic, as mentioned, are bidding to reach the 2021 Copa del Rey final, but they will also play the final of the 2020 competition against Real Sociedad at the start of April, with the contest being postponed last year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Basque outfit have only lost twice in La Liga since the start of the year - both to Barcelona - while they have picked up four points from their last two league games against Cadiz and Villarreal.

Gerard Moreno sent the Yellow Submarine ahead in the early stages of last weekend's contest at San Mames, but Alex Berenguer continued his impressive scoring form by netting the leveller as it finished 1-1.

A total of 29 points from 23 matches has left Athletic in 10th position in the table, just two points behind Levante with a game in hand, and Marcelino's side will also feel that they have an outside chance of claiming a top-seven spot as there is still a lot of football to be played before the end of the campaign.

Levante La Liga form: DWDLDW
Levante form (all competitions): WDDLDW

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form: LWLDWD
Athletic Bilbao form (all competitions): LWDDWD

Team News

Levante will again be without the services of Gonzalo Melero, Nemanja Radoja and Jose Campana through injury, while Enis Bardhi and Sergio Postigo will miss the contest due to recent problems.

The home side will also be without Ruben Vezo through suspension, meaning that Jorge Miramon could be handed a starting role as part of a back three.

Jose Luis Morales and Sergio Leon should continue in the final third of the field, although Ruben Rochina's starting role could be taken by De Frutos, who scored late against Atletico last time out.

As for Athletic, Dani Garcia is suspended due to the yellow card that he picked up against Villarreal last time out, but Unai Nunez and Mikel Vesga are both available following bans of their own.

Vesga should take Dani Garcia's spot in the middle of the park, while Nunez could replace Inigo Martinez at the heart of the defence, but there are not expected to be alterations elsewhere.

Indeed, Berenguer has been in impressive scoring form - netting three goals in his last two outings - and should continue on the right, with Iker Muniain, Inaki Williams and Raul Garcia also featuring in the attacking positions.

Levante possible starting lineup:
Cardenas; Miramon, Duarte, Rober; Coke, Malsa, Vukcevic, Tono; De Frutos, Leon, Morales

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; De Marcos, Yeray, Nunez, Yuri; Berenguer, Vesga, Lopez, Muniain; R Garcia, Williams

We say: Levante 1-1 Athletic Bilbao

There is not an awful lot between the two sides in terms of quality, and it could be a cagey affair ahead of their Copa del Rey semi-final second-leg clash on March 4; we are finding it difficult to separate the pair in this contest and have ultimately settled on a low-scoring draw in Valencia.

Top tip

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

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last updated article - 2021-02-24 10:54:34:
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18Real Valladolid30512132741-1427
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