Los Leones have had a tough start to the season, with their nine points enough to be 14th in the table, while Real Betis are three points ahead in eighth place.
Having defeated Sevilla 2-1 at home at the end of October, Athletic Bilbao undid all that good work by gifting Real Valladolid their first win of the season.
Having gone 2-0 down at the Jose Zorrilla early in the second half, Inaki Williams scored a late consolation goal from the spot, resulting in a 2-1 loss.
As for Real Betis, they followed their 3-1 win over Elche at home with a bruising 5-2 defeat to Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
Real Betis were in with a shout until Aissa Mandi got sent off on the hour mark. Despite Loren Moron reducing the deficit with a goal in the 73rd minute to make it 3-2, goals from Lionel Messi and Pedri in the final 10 minutes added gloss to the scoreline.
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Betis Head-to-Head
Los Leones have dominated this fixture in the recent past, winning seven of their last 10 games against Real Betis, with the Verdiblancos only managing two wins in that period.
Both teams were involved in home wins last season, with Bilbao winning 1-0 at San Mames in June earlier this year while Betis won 3-2 at the Benito Villamarin last December.
Athletic Bilbao form guide: W-W-L-W-L
Real Betis form guide: W-L-L-W-L
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Betis Team News
Ibai Gomez and Oscar de Marcos have recovered from their injuries, but the latter tested positive for coronavirus and joins Dani Garcia, Jokin Ezkieta and Inigo Lekue in isolation.
Gaizka Garitano is expected to name a similar lineup despite the loss to Valladolid, although Alex Berenguer should replace Jon Morcillo out wide.
Covid-19: Oscar de Marcos, Dani Garcia, Jokin Ezkieta, Inigo Lekue
Doubtful: Kenan Kodro, Peru Nolaskoain
Manuel Pellegrini has plenty of injury headaches going into the game, with Nabil Fekir and Sergio Canales both unavailable. Aitor Ruibal is expected to replace Fekir on the wing, alongside Joaquin and Christian Tello, with Antonio Sanabria leading the line.
Aissa Mandi is suspended for this game, so Victor Ruiz ought to start in the centre-back role since Sidnei is a doubt for this game.
Injuries: Nabil Fekir, Sergio Canales, Dani Martin, Victor Camarasa, Juanmi
Suspensions: Aissa Mandi
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Betis Predicted Lineups
Athletic Bilbao Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Unai Simon (GK); Ander Capa, Inigo Martinez, Yeray Alvarez, Yuri Berchiche; Unai Lopez, Dani Garcia; Iker Muniain, Raul Garcia, Alex Berenguer; Inaki Williams
Real Betis Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Claudio Bravo (GK); Emerson, Marc Bartra, Victor Ruiz, Alex Moreno; Guido Rodriguez, William Carvalho; Aitor Ruibal, Joaquin, Christian Tello; Antonio Sanabria
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Betis Prediction
Athletic Bilbao are traditionally a strong outfit at home, and given Betis' terrible record at San Mames, Los Leones are favorites for this game despite their poor form.
Real Betis are without two crucial players in Nabil Fekir and Sergio Canales, and they have conceded 11 goals in their last four games. With Inaki Williams likely to profit, we expect Athletic Bilbao to take all three points at home.
Prediction: Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Real BetisPublished 21 Nov 2020, 20:46 IST