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Dec 11, 2021 at 8pm UK
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao

Lekue (52'), Garcia (62'), Vencedor (65'), Martinez (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Delaney (38')
Fernando (73'), Rekik (88'), Kounde (90')

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

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

Sevilla will be looking to bounce back from Wednesday's Champions League disappointment when they continue their La Liga campaign away to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night.

Julen Lopetegui's side are currently second in Spain's top flight, while Athletic occupy ninth, having picked up 21 points from their opening 16 matches of the 2021-22 campaign.

Match preview

Athletic have won four, drawn nine and lost three of their 16 league matches this season to collect 21 points, which has left them in ninth position in the table ahead of the next set of fixtures in Spain's top flight.

The Basque outfit have not actually been victorious in the league since beating Villarreal on October 23, drawing five of their last seven, including a 0-0 against Getafe on December 6.

Athletic now have three home games in a row against Sevilla, Real Betis and Real Madrid ahead of the winter break, and they could find themselves in the top seven with a positive run of form.

Marcelino's side have finished 11th and 10th in their last two league seasons, but they were a top-seven team between 2014 and 2017, and the quality is there to push into the top seven this term.

The Lions have actually been victorious in their last two league matches against Sevilla, including a 2-1 success in the corresponding clash last term, while they also won 1-0 at Estadio Ramon in May.

Sevilla, meanwhile, will enter the match off the back of a 1-0 defeat to RB Salzburg in the Champions League on Wednesday, which saw them finish third in Group G and drop into the Europa League.

Considering the strength of the group, third is a major disappointment for Sevilla, but Los Nervionenses have been excellent in Spain's top flight this term, picking up 31 points from 15 matches to sit second.

Lopetegui's side are eight points behind leaders Real Madrid but have a game in hand on Los Blancos, while they are only two points clear of fifth-placed Real Sociedad, so a disappointing run of results could see them slide down the table relatively quickly.

Sevilla might have lost in the Champions League on Wednesday, but they have won their last two domestic fixtures, beating Cordoba 1-0 in the first round of the Copa del Rey on December 1 before recording a 1-0 victory over Villarreal in the league three days later.

The Red and Whites will be back in Copa del Rey action against Andratx on December 15 before hosting Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the league ahead of the winter break.

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

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

Sevilla form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Athletic are again expected to be without the services of Asier Villalibre, Daniel Vivian, Peru Nolaskoain and Yuri Berchiche for this weekend's contest through injury.

Head coach Marcelino is likely to keep faith with the majority of the side that started the goalless draw with Getafe, but Iker Muniain and Alex Berenguer are both pushing to return to the XI.

Nico Williams and Oier Zarraga could therefore drop down to the bench, but Raul Garcia and Inaki Williams should continue as the front two for the Basque club.

As for Sevilla, Marcos Acuna, Erik Lamela, Youssef En-Nesyri and Jesus Navas will all miss the contest through injury.

Acuna's absence at left-back will open the door for Ludwig Augustinsson to continue in the starting XI, but there is expected to be at least one change from the side that started in Europe on Wednesday.

Indeed, Rafa Mir is likely to return to lead the line for Loptegui's team, while Oscar Rodriguez and Oliver Torres will be in contention to feature in the starting XI on Saturday.

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; De Marcos, Yeray, I Martinez, Lekue; Berenguer, Vencedor, D Garcia, Muniain; I Williams, R Garcia

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Bounou; Montiel, Kounde, Carlos, Augustinsson; Jordan, Fernando, Rakitic; Ocampos, Mir, Gomez

We say: Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Sevilla

This is a very tough match for Sevilla off the back of a European fixture, and we are struggling to back the visitors to triumph this weekend. Athletic have drawn nine of their 16 league matches this season, losing just three times, and we are predicting another stalemate for the Basque outfit here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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