On the 17th of March Valencia face Athletic Bilbao at Mestalla to fight to advance to quarterfinals of the Europa League. Bilbao side won the first leg 1:0.
Valencia showed quality game in February recording 4 wins and 1 draw (including thrashing of Rapid in the last 32 of the Europa League). However, things went downhill after that. Valencia have lost 4 of their last 5 matches with 3-9 goal difference, including first leg against Athletic. Bilbao side scored only once but they could net more goals that night. The Bats have been struggling at home. They were beaten by Athletic again 0:3 at Mestalla not so long ago.
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Basque side have been showing rather consistent performance throughout this season both in La Liga and Europa League. Valencia were lucky to avoid humiliating loss in the first leg. The visitors are in great form as they won 5 games in a row (13-2 goal difference).
As to head-to-head record Valverde’s team have undisputable advantage here as well as Valencia have failed to win their last 8 games against Athletic and they lost three last matchups (3:1 and 3:0 in the La Liga and 1:0 in the Europa League). The visitors aren’t supposed to lose the second leg and will probably advance to the next round.
Prediction: Athletic not to lose