Bilbao host Leganes at the San Mames Barria stadium this Sunday.
Both the side will be looking for that crucial three point’s victory so that they could be in the higher position of the league. Currently, Bilbao lies in the 14th place of the league whereas Leganes lays a place higher with an extra one point.
The Lions have their Europa League game in jeopardy too as they lost 3 – 1 to Marseille in the first leg clash. They will have to perform far better if they want a win here.
Athletic Bilbao have managed to win only a game out of their last six games with 4 losses and a draw. A win will put them in comfort as they aim to finish higher in the league.
On the other hand, Leganes come from a recent 2 – 0 win over Malaga in the La Liga. That win is the only win The Legionaries have managed to secure in their last six games with a draw and other 4 losses.
Asier Garitano’s side will look for a win in this away fixture as they face off Athletic Bilbao in this competitive fixture.
The two sides have come face to face only three times in all competitions. Athletic Bilbao has never managed to secure a win against Leganes and the only win Legionaries saw was the 1 – 0 victory earlier this season.
The two teams have played two draws with one game seeing both sides failing to score. It was Claudio Beauvue who found the net for Leganes the last time they faced the Lions.
Jose Angel Ziganda, the manager for the Lions, will likely rotate the squad after the Europa League action.
Mikel Balenziaga is available again after injury but may be rotated in the squad.
Unai Nunez and Inigo Martinez could return to the defense, and we may be able to see the presence of Kepa at goal.
Rico is also doubtful for the clash as he has already missed three matches due to a knee injury.
Ruben Perez and Unai Bustinza have come back to training following an injury and may start against Bilbao.
Claudio Beauvue should start up front because his teammate Miguel Angel Guerrero has a knock and will be sidelined.
Gabriel and Javier Eraso face a risk of suspension with both being on four yellow cards apiece.
Players to Watch
Despite his age, Aduriz has been playing remarkably well. With 16 goals for the club, he currently leads the goal-scoring tally for the Lions.
The veteran Spanish forward is known to score goals in crucial events, and we may see this striker getting a few of them in this home game fixture.
The striker also has two assists to his name, and we can be sure that he will be involved with goals in this fixture.
Spanish midfielder Eraso is playing well for Leganes. With 3 goals and 3 assists, the midfielder has been largely involved in Leganes goals. When Leganes faced Malaga last time, he scored the first goal for the team and was playing fantastic.
The forward has a lot of talent, and the defense of the Lions should be really tight if they want to stop him.
Athletic Bilbao vs Leganes Lineup (Predicted XI)
Athletic Bilbao Lineup (4-2-3-1)
DEF: Lekue (RB), Nunez (RCB) Inigo Martinez (LCB), Saborit (LB)
MID: Etxebarria (LDM), Iturraspe (RDM), Susaeta (RM), Raul Garcia (CAM), Cordoba (LM)
ATT: Aduriz (ST)
Leganes Lineup (4-3-3)
DEF: Zaldua (RB), Bustina (LCB), Siovas (RCB), Rico (RB)
MID: Pires (RM), Perez (CM), Eraso (LM)
ATT: El Zhar (RW), Beauvue (ST), Amrabat (LW)
Athletic Bilbao vs Leganes Prediction
Both sides are not in good form but still they will be playing out their best for those crucial three points which will see one team finishing higher than the other.
This could be a significant fixture, and for Bilbao, they have home advantage and the bitterness of the loss they faced against Marseille.
Still, we expect Athletic Bilbao will win this match. Our prediction:
Athletic Bilbao – 2
Leganes – 1