Valencia hosts Athletic Bilbao in round 33 of Spanish LaLiga. The match will be played on Wednesday, July 1st at Estadio de Mestalla (Valencia)
Valencia performs very poorly after the resumption of the championship. The Bats do not succeed in the attack, while their defense is also lame. There are already five matches behind, and this team managed to keep a clean sheet only once. Yes, it played against strong opponents such as Villarreal and Real Madrid, but the Bats also conceded from rather modest clubs of LaLiga. The coach of Valencia understands that the upcoming match may be the last for him, but all his efforts go down the drain. Celades cannot establish a game in attack to compensate for flaws in defense, and it will be incredibly difficult to score and beat Athletic without creative ideas.
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After a break, the Basques continue to perform at the same level as before quarantine. And they already had to compete with Barcelona and Atletico. Bilbao’s football players showed a great game in both of these meetings. Yes, they didn’t manage to create an abundance of attempts, but the defense acted reliably. The Catalan club had tremendous difficulties when trying to breach the Basques’ defense. Barcelona still scored a winning goal, but it did not create anything near the box of Athletic until the 70th minute. Garitano’s men played almost flawlessly in a match with the most scoring team of LaLiga, so it will be much easier for them to defend against Valencia.
The total xG of Valencia in games with Eibar and Villarreal was only 0.57, which demonstrates how poorly the team is attacking now. The Basques are clearly able to keep a clean sheet against such an opponent. They play defense first in matches against status opponents, which allows them either to keep a clean sheet or to concede no more than one goal. Actually, only two giants from Madrid conceded less than Athletic in the current championship. As for the attack, Bilbao acts no worse than the Bats, especially after the resumption of the season. In fact, Bilbao scored seven goals in the last five matches, failing to upset the opponent’s goalkeeper only at Camp Nou. In comparison, Valencia scored only three goals after the resumption of the season. So it turns out that the hosts of the upcoming match are undeservedly considered favorites. Without Garay, the Bats continue to fail in defense, and the attack acts at the level of outsiders. The Basques are capable of taking even three points away from Valencia.
Prediction for the match: Athletic Bilbao to win with +0.5 handicap