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.
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 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 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|
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.
19 February 2017 - 15:15 GMT
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