Soccer Spain LaLiga Prediction
Osasuna vs Ath Bilbao - Match Preview
⚽ 25 May 2023 - 19:30 GMT +0
Hostile Basque Country rivals Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao will meet for the fourth time this calendar year with both teams still jostling for a place in European football for next season. Extra time was needed to separate them after two Copa del Rey semi-final legs earlier this year, and with Real Madrid ultimately winning that competition with victory over Osasuna, the top seven will be the only remaining path to continental action.
Osasuna’s seventh consecutive loss away to Atlético Madrid (3-0) last weekend saw them slip below Sevilla to now be three points behind Athletic, but there’s no reason to panic. Following a 0-0 draw in the reverse LL H2H, Jagoba Arrasate’s Osasuna would jump ahead of their rivals on the head-to-head tiebreaker with a win here, though it’s going to require them to shirk off an awful LL record as outsiders at home this season (W1, L5).
Athletic demonstrated their intent to hold onto sixth place by striking within the opening minutes of both halves in a 2-1 win at home to Celta Vigo. Manager Ernesto Valverde was rapt that the club could “breathe” after not dropping vital points, but has cautioned his side to “not get carried away” so soon after a four-game winless run (D1, L3).
The visitors have still picked up more LL wins on the road (W4, D3, L4) than at home (W3, D2, L5) since the World Cup break, so getting back on the road shouldn’t be of major concern. Their recent history with Osasuna may be contributing more to Valverde’s cautious approach, for his side are yet to beat Osasuna in any competition during Arrasate’s reign in charge of the hosts (D4, L2).
📋 Players to watch: Abde Ezzalzouli has now registered six competitive goals this calendar year, all coming after half-time and in victories. After he opened the scoring against Celta, Iñaki Williams has won or drawn his last 21 goalscoring appearances across all club competitions (W17, D4).
⚡ Hot stat: Just two of the last eight H2Hs in all competitions produced more than 2.5 total goals.
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