In-form Athletic Club will look to extend their winning run in La Liga to four consecutive wins when they travel to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium to face out-of-form Sevilla on Saturday at 17:30 GMT.
Sevilla will be looking to turn around their horrible form and move away from the drop zone, while Athletic will be looking to solidify their position inside the La Liga top-four.
Can Sevilla Bounce Back to Winning Ways?
Julen Lopetegui has a job in his hands to build the confidence of his Sevilla charges as they look to regain their form and consistency in La Liga.
The focus is to play through this bad patch and regain their form in the process, starting with the clash with an in-form Athletic Club side on Saturday.
Lopetegui will be focused on the intensity and tempo of his charges in this match; he will expect to see a disciplined and dynamic performance from his side focused on their shape.
The shape of the team will be important to keep out an Athletic Club side full of confidence and form.
Can Athletic make it Four Consecutive Wins in La Liga?
Ernesto Valverde is satisfied with his side’s start to their La Liga season, where they have lost just once and have accrued 16 points, and are currently third on the table.
Valverde will be keen to have his side grounded and maintain their ruthlessness in their high-energy, high-tempo, and disciplined performances that have allowed scoring goals and minimizing concessions.
The clash away to Sevilla will present another opportunity for Athletic to showcase their progress this season. Valverde will expect his side to avoid any complacency and to maintain their solidity away from home.
Sevilla have had a horrible start to their La Liga season. In their starting seven fixtures in the league, Lopetegui’s charges have prevailed in just one while managing stalemates in two of them.
This means that they have lost four times in this underwhelming start. They have collected 5 points out of the available 21, and they currently sit 17th on the table, just a point off the drop zone.
Lopetegui’s men have won just once in their last five outings in La Liga. Alongside the solitary win, Sevilla have drawn once and lost three times. They have collected four points and dropped 11 in this run.
Athletic Club have started the season in flying form. Their sterling performances have resulted in five wins, a draw, and a solitary defeat in their opening seven fixtures.
Valverde’s charges have amassed 16 points out of the available 21. They sit 3rd on the La Liga table, just three points behind the league leaders Barcelona.
In their last five matches, Athletic Club’s men have won four times and lost once. They have collected 12 points and dropped three in this run. Valverde will be looking to retain his side’s form as they look to solidify their top-three status after matchday 8.
Possible Starting Lineups
Bono; J. A. Carmona, T. Nianzou, K. Salas, K. Rekik; N. Gudelj, T. Delaney; E. Lamela, Oliver, Isco; K. Dolberg
Simon; O. de Marcos, Y. Alvarez, I. Martinez, I. Lekue; O. Sancet, D. Garcia; N. Williams, I. Muniain, Alex Berenguer; I. Williams
Players to Watch
Lamela has made seven appearances for Sevilla this season and scored one goal. He has made a further 1 appearance in the Champions League. The consistent selection of the 30-year-old Argentine shows his importance to Lopetegui’s side.
Lamela will be crucial for Sevilla in the match against Athletic Club on Saturday. His work rate, hard running, and experience will be central to Sevilla’s bid to turn around their form this season.
The 28-year-old Ghanaian international has made seven appearances for Athletic Club this season, scoring two goals in the process. He has also appeared twice in the Supercopa de Espana this season.
Williams leads the line for Athletic with athleticism, work rate, and the ability to press from the front. He will be important for Valverde’s side as they look to extend their winning run to four consecutive matches in La Liga.
Sevilla will look to dominate possession playing at home, maintain a high-tempo, press from the front foot, and create goal-scoring chances through quick passing.
Athletic Club will look to be solid and compact in their approach; they will also look to use possession turnover to launch counter-attacks. When on the ball, they will look to pass vertically and quickly.
These sides will play to a stalemate, with a draw the most likely result.
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