Bottom side Espanyol will host Athletic Bilbao at the Cornella-El Prat in the La Liga on Saturday.
Espanyol Match Form
Espanyol’s season has been dreadful so far, but they sparked some life into it on Sunday. Villarreal were their opponents, and Espanyol claimed an impressive 2-1 win. David Lopez scored early on to give them the lead, and Raul de Tomas made it 2-0 just after half-time.
However, a red card for Espanyol’s Javi Lopez changed the pattern of the game. Villarreal were on the rise, and they pulled one back through a penalty from Santi Cazorla. Espanyol held on for the win, which was their first in the league since October.
Despite the win, there is some way to go for Espanyol to avoid relegation. They are still in the last place, four points behind Mallorca in 17th place. Espanyol have won just three league games all season, and they need to change that radically. A major reason for the same has been their leaky defense. No other side has conceded more goals than Espanyol’s 37 in the La Liga. They are just as bad on the other end as well. Espanyol have scored only 16 times in the league so far.
However, they have played well in the Copa del Rey. Espanyol beat Lleida and SS Reyes in the first and second rounds of the competition respectively. Real Sociedad are their opponents in the next round.
Bilbao Match Form
Bilbao are 8th in the table, looking to get European football for next season. However, their games have not been entertaining for the neutral, to say the least. Bilbao’s last four league games have ended in draws. Two of those games did not see a single goal. In their last game, Bilbao faced a Celta Vigo side struggling for form. The game was a perfect opportunity to return to winning ways for Bilbao, but they failed to take it.
Rafinha opened the scoring for Celta, but Raul Garcia equalized for Bilbao through a penalty. Binary dominated possession and had 22 shots in the game. Inaki Williams was substituted early in this game and his bad run continued. Williams has not found the net in more than a month for Bilbao. Garcia played much more advanced against Celta, with Iker Muniain just behind him.
Bilbao claimed a 3-0 win over Espanyol in the last meeting between these two sides. However, Espanyol have won twice in the last four clashes and the other has ended in a draw. Aside from the last meeting, the six before that have seen two or fewer goals.
Espanyol vs Athletic Bilbao Betting Tips
Bilbao will be the favorites this time, but the game will be a tight one. The total goals should be Under 2.5 in the game. Bilbao’s defense is one of the best around, and they have a high chance of keeping a clean sheet. A narrow win for Athletic Bilbao seems like a safe bet on Saturday.