MX23RW : Thursday, June 24 06:01:20| >> :600:1198285:1198285:
Oct 4, 2020 at 1pm UK at Estadio de Mendizorroza
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
Ely (74')
Duarte (85')
Duarte (86')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Garcia (19'), Nunez (62'), Martinez (64')

Preview: Alaves vs. Athletic Bilbao - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Alaves and Athletic Bilbao, including team news and predicted lineups.

Both Alaves and Athletic Bilbao will be looking to bounce back from defeats when they continue their respective 2020-21 La Liga seasons with a clash on Sunday afternoon.

Alaves suffered a 3-1 loss at Villarreal on Wednesday night, while Athletic will enter this weekend's contest off the back of a surprise 1-0 home defeat by newly-promoted Cadiz.

Match preview

Pablo Machin in charge of Sevilla on January 6, 2019© Reuters

A return of just one point from four matches has left Alaves bottom of La Liga at this stage, which is an indication of the importance of this game just before the international break.

Pablo Machin's side started their season with back-to-back defeats to Real Betis and Granada, before picking up a welcome point at home to Getafe on September 26.

Alaves could not build on the draw, though, and suffered a 3-1 defeat at Villarreal on Wednesday, meaning that they are currently propping up the division.

The Basque outfit are operating in their fifth straight season at this level of football, and they actually finished ninth in 2016-17 before claiming 11th in 2018-19.

Los Babazorros were 16th in Spain's top flight last season, though, and it does appear that it could be a tough campaign for a club who have signed the likes of Deyverson and Florian Lejeune on loan this summer.

Athletic Bilbao boss Gaizka Garitano in March 2020.© Reuters

Athletic, meanwhile, have only picked up three points from their first three league matches of the season, beating Eibar on September 27 but losing to both Granada and Cadiz.

Thursday's 1-0 home defeat to Cadiz would have come as a huge surprise and puts pressure on the Basque outfit to bounce back in their final match ahead of the international break.

Gaizka Garitano's side actually lost four of their last five league games at the end of last season to finish down in 11th spot, and it is difficult to imagine them pushing for a European finish this term.

Indeed, restricted to signing Basque-only players, it has been a very quiet transfer window the club, who are still waiting for Inaki Williams and Iker Muniain to get off the mark in terms of goals this term.

Alaves La Liga form: WWDW

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form: LWL

Team News

Athletic Bilbao's Inaki Williams in action against Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos in La Liga on July 5, 2020© Reuters

Alaves will again be without the services of Tomas Pina due to a foot injury, but the home side are otherwise in good shape when it comes to absentees for this weekend's contest.

Joselu missed out against Villarreal with a slight knock but should be available for this match and is likely to be paired with Lucas Perez in the final third of the field.

Luis Rioja and Sergi Garcia are among the options for change in the final third, although the bulk of the XI that started against the Yellow Submarine should continue here.

As for Athletic, Yeray Alvarez is out until after the international break with a muscular problem, while Ibai Gomez is unlikely to return until late November due to a broken arm.

Williams should again lead the attack with support from Muniain and Raul Garcia, but Garitano could make alterations from the Cadiz loss with Asier Villalibre in line for a start.

Unai Lopez and Dani Garcia, though, are likely continue their partnership in the middle of the park.

Alaves possible starting lineup:
Pacheco; Navarro, Laguardia, Lejeune, Duarte; Mendez, Battaglia, Pons, Sainz; Perez, Joselu

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; Capa, Nunez, Martinez, Yuri; D Garcia, Lopez; Villalibre, R Garcia, Muniain; Williams

SM words green background

We say: Alaves 1-2 Athletic Bilbao

There is no playing down the importance of this match to both teams, and a defeat would be really damaging just before the international break. Alaves are certainly capable of causing Athletic problems, but we just fancy the visitors to pick up all three points courtesy of a narrow win.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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CAtletico MadridAtletico38268467254286
2Real Madrid38259467283984
5Real Sociedad3817111059382162
6Real Betis381710115050061
8Celta Vigo381411135557-253
10Athletic Bilbao381113144642446
RReal Valladolid38516173457-2331

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