Valencia vs. Athletic Bilbao 7/1/20 LaLiga Soccer Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Valencia 12-10-10, Athletic Bilbao 11-12-9
7/1/20 1:30 pm
Over 2.5 (+150), Under 2.5 (-188)
Valencia is welcoming Athletic Bilbao to Mestalla in round 33 in Spanish LaLiga.
Valencia is struggling a lot as of late, on both ends, and they have won only 1 of their last 5 games in LaLiga. During this bad stretch, Valencia has scored only 3 goals, while conceding 7 goals. Valencia was in the Europa League spot before the break, and they are still close, but they are slipping down in the standings and Valencia is now in 8th place with 46 points. Valencia’s defense has been their biggest problem, but mostly because three of their best defenders have been injured for a while, Piccini, Garay, and Diakhaby. Valencia has conceded 46 goals so far in LaLiga. Offensively, Valencia has been decent for most of the season with 41 scored goals. Maxi Gomez and Dani Parejo have each scored 8 goals for Valencia, while Gameiro added 5 goals. Moreno has 7 assists, while Wass added 6 assists. In their last LaLiga game against Villarreal on the road, Valencia has had 43% of ball possession, 4 corner kicks, 85% of the correct passes, but 0 shots on goal. Valencia has lost this game 2-0. I just don’t have confidence that Valencia can turn things around before it’s too late. I think Valencia will have to skip the Europa League next season.
Bilbao has been playing well since the restart, and because of that, they are getting closer and closer to the Europa League. As of right now, Athletic is in 9th place with 45 points, just 5 points away from the Europa League. Athletic’s offense isn’t something they are known for, and they have scored only 36 goals so far this season, but their defense on the other hand is one of the best in LaLiga with only 28 conceded goals. In their last match just a few days ago against Mallorca, Athletic has had 47% of ball possession, 6 shots on goal, 1 corner kick, and 81% of the correct passes. Athletic Bilbao has won this match 3-1, and another precious three points in their race towards the Europa League. Raul Garcia has been Athletic’s best player this season and he scored 11 goals, while Inaki Williams added 6 goals. Muniain added 5 goals. Etxebarria is still questionable for this match. There are still a lot of teams in the race of those two Europa League spots, and they are all pretty much the same quality-wise, but of all the teams, Athletic is in the best form, and that is something that could be crucial for the rest of the season.
When playing at home, Valencia hasn’t lost to Athletic in their last 4 games, and their home record this season is 9-7-0, while Bilbao is 2-8-6 on the road. The trends are on Valencia’s side, but I don’t think they can win this game in their current form. The last time Athletic has won against Valencia on the road was back in 2016, I think it’s time they get another one here.