Athletic Bilbao take on the visitors Espanyol in the round 4 match of Spanish LaLiga. The match will be played on Sunday, September 4th at Estadio San Mamés (Bilbao).
Athletic became Ernesto Valverde's team again. The "Basques" have already played under the guidance of this specialist. And it was here that he showed the level that resulted in an invitation to Barcelona itself. In principle, before the “Ant”, the last year and a half, an interesting coach also worked in Bilbao. Who started by winning the trophy - the Super Cup. But still, under him, an ambitious, original team remained only an average one. Will it be possible to show something more with a new-old mentor? At the start of the championship with Valverde, Athletic started in his signature style: the main thing is not to concede. As a result, they started from 0-0 with Mallorca, then there was a minimal, 1-0, victory over Valencia. Yes, it turned out to be 4-0 with Cadiz, but there the outsider just fell apart in the 2nd half.
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Espanyol do not yet give fans special reasons to rejoice. The Parrots returned from Segunda a year ago after a year's stay. To begin with, the wards of Diego Martinez finished the season in 14th place – not a position to be proud about, but as for a new start, it’s already not bad, at least without the slightest risk of relegation. But, of course, further progress was expected in this part of Catalonia. But so far, their favorites are frankly disappointing. Moreover, the start was quite optimistic: they fought back for a draw in Vigo with Celta, from 0-2, even if they snatched a point due to a late penalty. But this was followed by 0-2 with Rayo Vallecano. Yes, and with Real Madrid it was insulting not to keep a draw: until the 88th minute it was 1-1, and only then Benzema scored a double.
Athletic haven't lost in 5 head-to-head games in a row. Including 4 points were taken in the last draw. Athletic, of course, is the favorite of the meeting, but will play for a minimal win. So you can look at the option with a bet on well-organized visitors with a handicap of "+1 goal".
Prediction for the match: Espanyol to win with +1.0 handicap.