Athletic Bilbao vs Valencia Prediction: La Liga Match on 21.08.2022
After getting off the mark in the new season with a 1-0 win over Girona, Valencia will be looking to make it two wins out of two on Sunday when they travel to the San Mames Barrie to face Athletic Club at 16:30GMT. Athletic Club will be looking to get off the mark after opening the season with a 0-0 draw at home against Mallorca.
Can Athletic Bilbao Win their First Match of the Season against Valencia?
Ernesto Valverde Tejedor will be looking for his first win of the season when his side take on Valencia on Sunday. The gaffer was disappointed that his side could only manage a draw against Alaves in the season’s opening match.
While they bossed possession of the match against Mallorca, had 23 shots at goal with six shots on target, Bilbao were unable to convert their dominance into three points.
Tejedor will be focusing on improving his side’s potency in front of goal as they look to get their first win of the season in the clash with Valencia. Athletic Club will focus to dominate the match against Valencia, press them across the pitch, and creating goal-scoring chances.
Can Valencia make it Two Back-to-Back Wins in La Liga?
After Valencia took the lead in the 46th minute of the first half against Girona, they were reduced to ten men when Eray Comert was sent off. However, Gennaro Gattuso’s side held on to claim all three points.
Girona dominated possession with an extra man on the pitch; however, they could only manage one shot on target. This highlighted the solidity and compactness of the Valencia team and the tactics implemented by Gennaro Gattuso.
Gattuso will be looking for his side to maintain their solidity even as they seek to enhance their attacking potency when they face Athletic Club on Sunday.
Athletic Club had five pre-season matches, winning two, drawing two, and losing one. They started their pre-season schedule with a 1-1 draw at Mainz before losing 2-1 at Newcastle.
Bilbao ended their pre-season with two wins and a draw against Mirandes (0-3) and Real Sociedad (1-0), and Alaves (1-1).
Ernesto Valverde Tejedor’s side began the season with a 0-0 draw against Mallorca last Monday, which was disappointing given they were playing in front of the home fans.
The club will be hoping to get the first win of their season as they seek to challenge European places this season.
Gattuso’s side had a mixed pre-season schedule. They played six matches; they won thrice, drew once, and lost twice.
The wins came against Borussia Dortmund (3-1), St. Gallen (2-0), and Atalanta (2-1). They drew once against Nottingham Forest (1-1). The losses came against VfB Stuttgart (5-2) and Castellon (1-0).
Gattuso’s side opened the season with an impressive 1-0 win despite playing the second half with ten men having had a player sent off.
Gattuso will be looking to retain the solidity of his side even as he works to bolster their attacking threat. He will also hope his players can maintain discipline and finish the match with 11 players.
Possible Starting Lineups
Simon; O. de Marcos, D. Vivian, Y. Alvarez, Y. Berchiche; O. Sancet, M. Vesga, I. Muniain; I. Williams, A. Villalibre, Alex Berenguer
Mamardashvili: T. Correia; C. Mosquera, M. Diakhaby, J. Vazquez; Y. Musah, H. Guillamon, C. Soler; Samu Castillejo, H. Duro, S. Lino
Players to Watch
The 24-year-old striker will be crucial for Athletic Bilbao as they seek to get their season off the ground. The Spanish professional offers pace, flexibility, work rate, and creativity up front for Bilbao.
His relationship with Inaki Williams upfront is crucial for Athletic; the two players can interchange positions to give the team a fluid approach in its attacking areas.
His pressing allows for possession to be won in the opposition’s half and bolsters the chances of creating goal-scoring chances.
The Spanish midfielder notched the winning foal in the opening match for Valencia that ended 1-0 in favour of the home side.
The 25-year-old can play as a central or right midfielder for Valencia, which offers Gattuso the much-needed flexibility in the middle of the pack. His flexibility also means that he offers defensive solidity and attacking and creative impetus for the team.
Soler will be crucial for Valencia on Sunday as they seek to make it two wins out of two against Athletic Club. He will be important in both the defensive and attacking phases, making him indispensable for Gattuso’s team.
Athletic Club will look to retain most of the things they did against Mallorca in the opening weekend. The focus will be to enhance their potency in front of goal as they seek to convert most of the chances they create.
Valencia will emphasize solidity and compactness away from home as they will look to make life difficult for Athletic Bilbao.
Given the form and quality of both teams, a draw is the most likely result in this match on Sunday.
Make sure to bet on Athletic Bilbao vs Valencia with 22Bet!