Villarreal are back in action in La Liga with a mid-week fixture on Tuesday as they take on Basque giants Athletic Bilbao in a crucial clash at El Madrigal. Athletic Bilbao have not been at their best this season and will need to work hard to win this game.
Villarreal are currently in fourth place in the La Liga standings and have largely managed to exceed expectations this season. The Yellow Submarines managed to arrest their mid-season slump with a victory against Osasuna over the weekend and will be confident ahead of this fixture.
Athletic Bilbao have endured a difficult domestic campaign and are in tenth place in the La Liga table. The Basque outfit have shown improvement over the past few weeks and are perfectly capable of pulling off a positive result against Villarreal.
Villarreal vs Athletic Bilbao Head-to-Head
Villarreal have a good recent record against Athletic Bilbao and have won 13 matches out of the last 29 games played between the two teams. Athletic Bilbao have managed only eight victories against Villarreal during this period and will need to take it up a notch in this fixture.
The previous meeting between the two La Liga giants took place in March this year and ended in a narrow 1-0 victory for Athletic Bilbao. Raul Garcia scored the only goal of the game on the day and will have to be at his best in this match.
Villarreal form guide in La Liga: W-D-D-D-D
Athletic Bilbao form guide in La Liga: W-L-D-L-D
Villarreal vs Athletic Bilbao Team News
Villarreal have several injuries to account for going into this game and will have to do without Paco Alcacer, Vicente Iborra, Alberto Moreno, and Francis Coquelin against Athletic Bilbao. Carlos Bacca has made progress with his recovery but remains doubtful ahead of this game.
Injured: Paco Alcacer, Vicente Iborra, Alberto Moreno, Francis Coquelin
Doubtful: Carlos Bacca
Peru Nolaskoain is currently injured and will not be able to play a part against Villarreal this week. Raul Garcia served his suspension against Huesca and is set to lead the line in this match.
Injured: Peru Nolaskoain
Doubtful: Asier Villalibre
Villarreal vs Athletic Bilbao Predicted XI
Villarreal Predicted XI (4-3-3): Sergio Asenjo; Pervis Estupinan, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Ruben Pena; Manu Trigueros, Juan Foyth, Daniel Parejo; Moi Gomez, Fernando Nino, Gerard Moreno
Athletic Bilbao Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Unai Simon; Yuri Berchiche, Inigo Martinez, Yeray Alvarez, Ander Capa; Unai Vencedor, Dani Garcia; Inaki Williams, Iker Muniain, Alex Berenguer; Raul Garcia
Villarreal vs Athletic Bilbao Prediction
Villarreal have an exceptional squad this season and have shown glimpses of their immense potential under Unai Emery. The Yellow Submarines will be looking for a top-four finish this season and need to win this game.
Athletic Bilbao will take plenty of heart from their performance against Huesca and will look to turn their season around. Both teams can be lethal on their day and might share the spoils in this match.
Prediction: Villarreal 2-2 Athletic Bilbao
Published 22 Dec 2020, 14:54 IST