Spartak Moscow take on the visitors Athletic Bilbao at “Otkrytie Arena” in the first-leg battle of the 1/16 final stage of the UEFA Europa League. The match will be played in Moscow on Thursday, February 15th.
Spartak Moscow came to the UEFA Europa League as they occupied the third position in Group E of the UEFA Champions League where they had performed with Liverpool, Sevilla and Maribor. The new season hasn’t started in Russia yet, therefore, the team has been playing only friendly clashes since the 12th of December 2017 and it was not very lucky in them, having lost to Shanghai SIPG 0:1, FC Astana 2:3 and Hebei 1:2 as well as earned a draw against CSKA-Sofia and only in the last friendly deserved 2:1 victory over Sparta Prague. On the eve of the forthcoming home fight, it should be noted that the team club has not been failing in face of its supporters since the 19th of August 2017, having got seven triumphs and four draws during that period.
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Last autumn Athletic Bilbao won their Group J in the UEFA Europa League, having taken 11 points. It can be rightly said that the Basques have forgotten the taste of defeat in the last few months. Since the 19th of November 2017 the side participated in 15 clashes, having gained only two losses, eight draws and five wins in them. Although it should also be mentioned that Athletic Bilbao have not tasted a victory in five latest battles, having earned four draws and 0:2 failure against Girona. In 10 recent encounters conducted on the road the Spaniards collected three triumphs, four draws and three defeats.
Both rivals are considered to be home teams which show much stronger performance at the home turf. Taking into account that fact, the hosts have all chances to at least extend its successful home run in the upcoming game in Moscow.
Prediction for the match: Spartak Moscow to win with 0.0 Asian handicap.