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Oct 26, 2021 at 8pm UK
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
de Tomas (33' pen.)
Herrera (73')
de Tomas (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Williams (52')
Berenguer (75'), Alvarez (90+4')

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

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

Athletic Bilbao will be looking to make it three La Liga victories in a row when they travel to RCDE Stadium on Tuesday night to take on an in-form Espanyol side.

The visitors are currently seventh in the table, having picked up 16 points from their opening nine matches, while Espanyol are 11th, collecting 13 points from their first 10 games.

Match preview

Espanyol failed to win in their opening five matches of the 2021-22 La Liga season, but the Catalan outfit have now been victorious in three of their last five, suffering just one defeat in the process.

A record of three victories, four draws and three defeats from 10 matches has seen Vicente Moreno's side collect 13 points, which has left them in 11th position in Spain's top flight.

Espanyol have actually won their last three home league games, overcoming Alaves, Real Madrid and Cadiz, while they were on course to collect another three points away to Elche on Saturday evening.

Indeed, quick-fire goals from Manu Morlanes and Raul de Tomas had seen the White and Blues take a 2-1 lead at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero, but Dario Benedetto struck late to secure a point for Elche.

Espanyol, who won last season's Segunda Division to secure a return to the top flight, are winless in their last three La Liga matches against Athletic, but the points were shared in a 1-1 draw when the two teams last locked horns in January 2020.

Athletic, meanwhile, will enter Tuesday's contest full of confidence, having picked up seven points from their last three La Liga matches against Valencia, Alaves and Villarreal.

The Basque outfit looked to be heading for a 1-1 draw against Villarreal on Saturday night, but Iker Muniain scored from the penalty spot in the 77th minute to secure all three points for the hosts at San Mames.

Marcelino's side have won four, drawn four and lost one of their nine league games this season to collect 16 points, which has left them in seventh spot in the table.

Athletic were regulars in the top seven between 2013 and 2017, but they have finished 16th, eighth, 11th and 10th in their last four campaigns at this level of football.

The Lions certainly have a team capable of pushing for European football once again, though, and they will be desperate to put another three points on the board ahead of a huge clash with Real Sociedad next weekend.

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

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

Team News

Espanyol will again be without the services of Miguelon and Javi Puado on Tuesday through injury, but the Catalan outfit did not suffer any fresh problems against Elche.

Head coach Moreno is expected to make changes to his starting side, though, with Morlanes potentially coming in for David Lopez in the middle of the park.

Nico Melamed replaced Wu Lei off the bench on Saturday, meanwhile, and the Spaniard is now pushing to come into the XI, but De Tomas is certain to again lead the line for the home side.

As for Athletic, Aitor Paredes, Peru Nolaskoain, Unai Nunez and Yuri Berchiche are all expected to miss Tuesday's contest through injury.

Lions boss Marcelino will have been delighted with his team's performance against Villarreal on Saturday, so it would not be a surprise to see the same XI sent onto the field for this match.

Raul Garcia should again join Inaki Williams in a front two, with Muniain and Alex Berenguer operating in the wide areas, leaving Asier Villalibre and Oihan Sancet on the bench.

Espanyol possible starting lineup:
Diego Lopez; Gil, Gomez, Cabrera, Pedrosa; Morlanes, Darder; Embarba, Melendo, Melamed; De Tomas

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

We say: Espanyol 1-1 Athletic Bilbao

Athletic are unbeaten on their travels in La Liga this season, but three of their four matches have ended in draws, and we can see another stalemate on Tuesday night. Espanyol's recent form has been strong, and the Catalan outfit should have enough quality to claim a point here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data

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