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Mar 7, 2022 at 8pm UK at San Mames
Athletic Bilbao
3 - 1
Vesga (63'), Williams (76'), Zarraga (88' pen.)
Berenguer (14')
FT(HT: 0-0)
de Frutos (90+1')
Miramon (20'), Son (37')

Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs. Levante - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs. Levante - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Monday's La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Levante, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Basement side Levante will be looking to continue their impressive run of form when they make the trip to San Mames on Monday evening to take on Athletic Bilbao.

The visitors, who sit 20th in the La Liga table, will enter the match off the back of a 3-0 win over Elche, while eighth-placed Athletic suffered a 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in their last league game.

Match preview

Athletic suffered a 4-0 defeat at Barcelona in La Liga last weekend, with the home side scoring three times in the final 17 minutes to add gloss to the scoreline, and the result left the Basque outfit in eighth position in the table, boasting 37 points from their 26 league matches this term.

Marcelino's side were then in Copa del Rey action against Valencia on Wednesday evening, travelling to Mestalla for the second leg of their semi-final, with the scores level at 1-1 ahead of the contest; a first-half goal from Goncalo Guedes ultimately decided the tie, with Los Che heading into the final of the competition.

Athletic will be determined to bounce back from the cup disappointment on Monday, and they still have plenty to play for in the league, currently sitting eighth in the table, five points behind seventh-placed Villarreal.

The Lions have not actually finished higher than eighth in Spain's top flight since 2017, and they will be hoping to improve on last season's finish of 10th.

Athletic have struggled for consistency at home this season, winning six, drawing two and losing four of their 12 matches in front of their own supporters, but they are unbeaten against Levante in the top flight since December 2018, including a 2-0 victory in the corresponding match last term.

That said, Levante have held Athletic to draws in their last two meetings, including a 0-0 earlier this season, and the visitors will enter this match full of confidence due to their impressive form.

The Frogs are attempting to complete the great escape, winning two and drawing one of their last three in the league to collect seven points, with the two victories coming against Atletico Madrid and Elche

Last time out, Jose Luis Morales, Jorge de Frutos and Gonzalo Melero were on the scoresheet against Elche, with the result moving the club onto 18 points in the table.

Alessio Lisci's side are still seven points behind 17th-placed Granada, though, so they will need to continue their impressive form in the coming weeks to stand a chance of avoiding relegation to the second tier.

Levante, who have picked up just six points from 13 away La Liga matches this term, are in their fifth straight season at this level of football and their relegation would be a surprise, but the club's fans will have been encouraged by recent performances, and another win would further boost the confidence in the camp.

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Athletic Bilbao form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Levante La Liga form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Athletic have no injury or suspension concerns ahead of this match, meaning that Marcelino could have a full squad depending on the team's final training session.

Alex Berenguer was suspended against Barcelona last weekend but was back in the side against Valencia in the Copa del Rey and should keep his position on the right here.

There are not expected to be many surprises in the home side's lineup here, with Inaki Williams and Iker Muniain both set to start, but there could be a change in the final third, with Oihan Sancet potentially replacing Raul Garcia.

As for Levante, Ruben Vezo, Jose Campana, Sergio Postigo and Shkodran Mustafi will miss the contest through injury.

The visitors did not pick up any fresh issues in their three-goal success over Elche last time out, though, so it would not be a surprise to see the same XI take to the field here.

Morales and De Frutos should again support Roger Marti in the final third of the field, with Pepelu being joined by Mickael Malsa in midfield, so Enis Bardhi, Dani Gomez and Melero might have to accept spots on the bench once again.

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; Lekue, Yeray, I Martinez, Yuri; Berenguer, Vencedor, D Garcia, Muniain; Sancet, I Williams

Levante possible starting lineup:
Cardenas; Rober, Duarte, Caceres; Miramon, Malsa, Pepelu, Son; De Frutos, Marti, Morales

We say: Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Levante

Levante's recent performances have been impressive, and they will fancy their chances of continuing their unbeaten run against a wounded Athletic. The home side will be desperate to bounce back from their Copa del Rey disappointment, though, and we can see Marcelino's side shading this game on Monday night.

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