Athletic Bilbao Vs Las Palmas: Preview, Team News, Likely Lineups, and Prediction
The Basque side will be looking to fix their derailed season with a win over relegation contenders Las Palmas this weekend.
Mid-table side Athletic Club Bilbao host relegation-threatened Las Palmas, this Friday night, in the Round 23 of the La Liga Santander 2017/18.
Athletic Bilbao have won just one game in the league since the start of January, losing one and drawing three in the process. Meanwhile, Las Palmas have won two of their last four games in the league.
Bilbao lost 2-0 against Girona, last weekend, in their previous league game. Cristian Stuani scored a brace for Girona. The defeat last Sunday was the seventh loss in the league for the Basque side. They have conceded at least a goal in their last four games in the Spanish top division.
Meanwhile, Las Palmas won 1-0 at home, against Malaga, in their last league game. Alen Halilovic secured all three points for his side with a 90th-minute winner. This was only the fifth win in the league for Paco Jemez’s side, only three teams have won fewer games in the Liga this season.
Athletic Bilbao are currently 13th in the table having managed 27 points from 22 matches played in the league so far. Jose Angel Ziganda’s side have won six, drawn nine and lost seven games in the Spanish top division this season. Only Levante have drawn more games this campaign.
Bilbao have scored 24 goals and conceded 25 goals in the league. Among all the teams who are currently outside of the relegation zone, only Leganes and Espanyol have scored fewer goals in the division. Weekend’s opponent, Las Palmas are among the five sides who have scored fewer goals than Bilabo in the league. Artiz Aduriz is the top scorer for the Basque side in La Liga with eight goals to his name.
Las Palmas are currently 19th in the table with just 17 points on board. They have won five, drawn two and lost 15 games in the league so far; no team has lost more games in the division. The Canarian side have managed just four points away from home this season, which is the lowest in La Liga.
Paco Jemez’s side have let in 51 goals in the league this season, only Deportivo La Coruna have conceded more this season. At the other end, they have scored just 17 goals. Only bottom side Malaga have scored fewer goals in the league this season.
Athletic Bilbao have won just one of their last five La Liga matches against Las Palmas, drawing two and losing two in the process. The sole victory in this run came in the corresponding fixture last season, as the Basque side won the game 5-1.
Bilbao’s defeat against Girona last weekend ended their longest unbeaten run in the Liga since February 2005. They had won five and drawn five league games in the run leading up to the defeat last Sunday.
Las Palmas have won just one of the last nine games in the La Liga against Basque team which was a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture earlier this season. They have drawn three and lost five games in this run. The Canarian team are without a win in their last nine away games in the league, failing to score in eight of those games.
Paco Jemez has used 35 different players in the league this season, more than any other manager in the Spanish top division. Jemez’s side have won two of their last three games in the La Liga, having gone winless in their previous five. Las Palmas have had just six different scorers in the league this campaign, fewest of any side in the division.
Athletic’s striker Artiz Aduriz has scored three goals in his last five home games in the league. The Spaniard has scored three goals in his two league games at Las Palmas at San Mame’s.
Meanwhile, Calleri has been involved in five of the last seven goals in the league for Las Palmas. He has scored three goals and assisted two in this run.
Referee Xavier Estrada will be in charge of the game on Friday. Athletic Club have been awarded six penalties in the league this season. No side have been awarded more spot kicks in the league this campaign.
Mikel Balenziaga is carrying a thigh injury. The Spaniard is expected to return in a couple of weeks.
Oscar de Marcos has been out for a month with a hamstring injury. He is back in training but is doubtful to make the squad on Friday. Iker Muniain is set to miss the rest of the season.
Pedro Bigas has been out with a knee injury. He is back in training. Defender Momo is carrying a calf injury and is unlikely to feature on Friday.
Athletic Bilbao vs Las Palmas Lineup (Predicted XI)
Athletic Bilbao Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Defense: Lekue (RB), Nunez (RCB), Etxeita (LCB), Saborit (LB)
Midfield: Rico (CDM), Iturraspe (CDM), Garcia (CAM), Susaeta (LAM), Williams (RAM)
Las Palmas Lineup ( 4-3-3)
Defense: Michel (RB), Galvez (RCB), Navarro (LCB), Aguirregaray (LB)
Midfield: Etebo (RCM), Penalba (CM), Viera (LCM)
Athletic Bilbao vs Las Palmas Prediction
Paco Jemez has won just two games as a manager in nine attempts, with his side scoring eight and conceding 16 during this period. Athletic have been decent, but they have struggled to turn draws into wins.
Las Palmas have two out of the last three league games and are on the rise. However, they have an awful away record this season. We expect Bilbao to get back to winning ways in this game.
Our prediction is a 2-0 win for Athletic Bilbao.