Competition: La Liga
Market: Athletic Bilbao win
Odds: 1/1 @ 888sport
Hoping to try and move within touching distance of the European spots this weekend, Athletic Bilbao will make the trip to relegation scrappers Alaves on Sunday evening.
Starting with the hosts, while Alaves might have opened the New Year with a point at home against Real Sociedad, it does not cover what has been a worrying run of form. Although Babazorros managed to extend on their La Liga status last season, José Luis Mendilibar’s men are once again at the heart of a relegation scrap. Opening Sunday’s meeting at the Mendizorrotza sat in the bottom-three, the Basque Country-based outfit are in the midst of a six-match winless run across all formats. With their extended blip highlighted by a shock 2-1 defeat away at Linares on Copa del Rey duties, this weekend’s hosts will also be worried by their recent record against Bilbao. Suffering a 1-0 loss when the two sides faced off earlier in the campaign, Mendilibar’s side should be in for another tough test here.
As for the visitors, while Athletic Bilbao might have entered Spain’s festive break with a close-fought 2-1 defeat against Real Madrid, Marcelino’s side have managed to bounce back. Extending on their Copa del Rey adventure earlier in the week as they landed a routine 2-0 win against Mancha on the road, Los Leones have their sights set on making a late charge for the European spots. Knowing that maximum points on Sunday evening could move them within touching distance of the top-six, the one-time Villarreal boss has seen his side win three of their last four matchups across all formats. Landing a 1-0 win when the two sides faced off in the reverse fixture, it should also be noted that Bilbao have suffered just a single defeat on their travels so far this season.
Bet: Athletic Bilbao 1/1 to beat Alaves in Sunday’s La Liga showdown @ 888sport