Sunday 19 Feb

Valencia vs Ath Bilbao Match Preview

17 Feb 2017 Stuart S. SPAIN: LaLiga
SPAIN: LaLiga

Valencia CF

  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D

vs

Kick-off
15:15 GMT
19 February 2017

Athletic Bilbao

  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Kick-off
15:15 GMT 19 February 2017

Ath Bilbao take the trip to the Mestalla hoping to put more pressure on the top 5. While Valencia are looking to get out of a potential relegation battle kick-started by their appointment of an inexperienced Gary Neville. Bilbao sit in 8th place while Valencia are massively struggling in 15th a mere 4 points above the drop. The two sides have had contrasting fortunes in the league this season and both have very different aims at this stage of the season.

STATS

  • Valencia have picked up 2 wins in their 6 league games since the winter break which is an improvement on their earlier season form but still far from good enough for a team of Valencia’s stature. They were smashed 4-0 in their last game at the Mestalla by an Eibar side who can’t believe their form this season, as they sit 7th.
  • Ath Bilbao have also won 2 of their 6 league games so far this year but have only lost 1. Their one loss came at the Nou Camp where they were beaten 3-0 by Barcelona. They’ve won 2 of their last 3 with two 2-1 wins over Sporting Gijon and Deportivo La Coruna.
  • Valencia have massively struggled to find a main source of goals in the league this season and they haven’t got a single player in the team with more than 5. Santi Mina leads their scoring charts with 5 league goals, 2 goals more than any other Valencia player.
  • It’s no surprise that Aduriz is Ath Bilbao’s top scorer this season and the 36 year old is showing no signs of slowing down, his 8 goals in the league are only bettered by 7 players in La Liga.

HEAD TO HEAD

Ath Bilbao have definitely dominated the recent meetings between themselves and Valencia as they have won the last 3 fixtures between the two and haven’t been beaten by Valencia since 2012. There have been more than 2.5 in each of the 3 games between the sides.

Head to head matchess in LaLiga: Valencia CF - Athletic Bilbao

18.09.2016 LaLi Athletic Bilbao Valencia CF 2:1
28.02.2016 LaLi Valencia CF Athletic Bilbao 0:3
04.10.2015 LaLi Athletic Bilbao Valencia CF 3:1

VALENCIA NEWS

Valencia fans are desperate to see their side climb away from the relegation zone but they may be forced to wait longer to see that as their two main goal threats this season have been ruled out of the game. Rodrigo will miss the rest of the season with a rare malleolar injury. Top scorer, Santi Mina, will miss out with a hamstring injury and Enzo Perez won’t be available for selection with a muscular problem.

Latest matches: Valencia CF

11.02.2017 LaLi Betis Sevilla Valencia CF 0:0 D
04.02.2017 LaLi Valencia CF SD Eibar 0:4 L
30.01.2017 LaLi Las Palmas UD Valencia CF 3:1 L
21.01.2017 LaLi Villarreal CF Valencia CF 0:2 W
15.01.2017 LaLi Valencia CF Espanyol Barcelona 2:1 W

ATH BILBAO NEWS

Ath Bilbao will see this as a good opportunity to close the gap between themselves and the European spots but they will be missing a few players through injury. Kepa Arrizabalaga (muscle bundle), Xabier Etxeita (muscle) and Sabin Merino (groin) will all be watching on from the stands as they can’t be selected.

Latest matches: Athletic Bilbao

16.02.2017 UEFA Athletic Bilbao Apoel Nicosia FC 3:2 W
11.02.2017 LaLi Athletic Bilbao Deportivo La Coruna 2:1 W
04.02.2017 LaLi FC Barcelona Athletic Bilbao 3:0 L
29.01.2017 LaLi Athletic Bilbao Sporting Gijon 2:1 W
22.01.2017 LaLi Athletic Bilbao Atletico Madrid 2:2 D

SUMMING UP!

Valencia’s season could easily go from bad to worse with this game as a fairly strong Bilbao side come to the Mestalla. They will have to step their game up hugely if they want to come away from the game with 3 points but I fully expect Ath Bilbao to take all the points from Valencia and pile more pressure onto them. They have had a much better season and have a better group of players than Valencia at the moment so they will be expecting to win the match.

About the author - Stuart S.

An English freelance sports writer, Stuart has written the Arsenal blog A Cultured Left Foot since 2006, as well as numerous betting previews and articles.

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