Athletic Bilbao take on the visitors Spartak Moscow at “San Mames” in the reverse fixture of the 1/16 final stage of the UEFA Europa League. The match will be played in Bilbao on Thursday, February 22nd.
Each season Athletic Bilbao perform in the UEFA Europa League, having promoted to the final of the tournament several times already. Nevertheless, the club faces huge problems now as the moment the side settles in the middle of the Spanish LaLiga table. “The Basques” managed to occupy the first place in Group J were they had competed with Ostersunds, Hertha Berlin and FK Zorya Luhansk, having picked up 11 points in six clashes played. “Rojiblancos” demonstrated quite solid football in attack, having scored 11 goals, however, their defense also looked great with five goals conceded. In the latest fights conducted at “San Mames” Athletic Bilbao have gained two draws against Las Palmas 0:0 and Eibar 1:1, but managed to beat Alaves 2:0.
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Meanwhile, Spartak Moscow confidently won the golden medals of the Russian Premier League last year, still, the club is doing not so well in this season. “Krasno-Belye” were knocked out from the UEFA Champions League on the group stage where it had battled with with Liverpool, Sevilla and Maribor, having got six points in six rounds played. The team’s offense felt rather comfortable with nine scored goals while its defense has too many problems resulted in 13 goals conceded. In the previous away clashes Spartak Moscow have been destroyed by Liverpool with 0:7 scoreline, broke Arsenal Tula 1:0 and thrashed Krasnodar 4:1.
Athletic Bilbao celebrated confident 3:1 victory over Spartak Moscow in their first-leg head-to-head. However, I won’t expect for as many goals in the forthcoming game as there were scored in the previous tackle.
Prediction for the match: Under 3.0 scored goals.