Athletic hots titleholders Sevilla in Bilbao at San Mames on April 7th in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinals.
Athletic are in solid conditions, showing nice results in domestic league and they deserve their right to play in the eurocup quarterfinals, eliminating quite strong opponents on the way to the stage. The round of last 32 against Marseille ended with 2-1 victory on aggregate score. The round of 16 opponents were another Spanish side, Valencia. After taking 1-0 victory at home leg, Athletic lest the reverse match in Valencia 2-1, scoring decisive away goal only on 76th minute. The most danger will come from the leader of the offence Aduriz, who have all the chances to travel to Euro-2016 as Del Bosque was counting on the 35-year-old striker in recent friendlies.
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Sevilla share the same league position with today’s opponents with equal number of points. Emery’s players are confident in the Europa League as the team have won two finals in a row. The round of 32 against Molde was ended after confident 3-0 victory on the road. The round of 16 opponents were Basel, tough eurocups participant. The first leg in Switzerland ended with 0-0 but the second leg was confidently won by Sevilla 3-0. Kevin Gameiro, who have scored 3 times in this competition, is the top scorer of Sevilla this year.
The team know each other quite well as they’ve met numerous times before in La Liga and Copa del Rey. No team have advantage in recent 5 head-to-heads as both opponents recorded 2 wins each and another match ended with a draw. The hosts of these matches were victorious. This season Primera match ended with 2-0 victory of Sevilla at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Bookmakers sees Athletic as favorites (2.1) as they play at home, while Sevilla have much lower chances according to money lines (3.5). The game expected to be low scoring (under 2.5 goals – 1.8). We are going to witness the clash of two equal opponents who know each other well. Home field advantage could be decisive in the clash. Of course, it would be hard to thrash the visitors but Athletic should convert support of the crowd to advantage before the second leg.
Prediction for the match: Athletic Bilbao to win.