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La Liga | Gameweek 24
Feb 12, 2024 at 8pm UK
Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos
Athletic Bilbao logo
0 - 0
Athletic Bilbao

Ramazani (27'), Pubill (34'), Melero (89')
Ramazani (53')

Sancet (84')

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

Sports Mole previews Monday's La Liga clash between Almeria and Athletic Bilbao, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Athletic Bilbao will be bidding to make it three straight wins in all competitions when they head to basement side Almeria in Spain's top flight on Monday evening.

The visitors are currently fifth in the table, boasting 45 points from their 23 La Liga matches this season, while Almeria are rock bottom of the division, some 14 points from safety.

Match preview

Almeria's Edgar Gonzalez celebrates scoring their second goal with Chumi on January 21, 2024© Reuters

Almeria need a minor miracle to avoid the drop this season, with a very difficult campaign seeing La Union pick up just six points from their 23 matches to sit 20th, and they are still waiting for their first league win of the campaign.

UDA are 14 points behind 17th-placed Mallorca, while they have comfortably the worst defensive record in the league this season, conceding 51 times.

The Andalusian outfit, who finished 17th in La Liga last season, will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 defeat at Valencia, which proved to be their third straight loss in Spain's top flight.

Gaizka Garitano's side have the worst home record in the league this term, picking up just five points from 11 matches, and they will be hosting an Athletic side with the fifth-best record on their travels.

Almeria have also lost each of their last five La Liga matches with Athletic, including a 3-0 defeat when the two teams locked horns for the reverse fixture earlier this season.

Athletic Bilbao's Gorka Guruzeta celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 24, 2024© Reuters

Athletic, meanwhile, will enter the match off the back of a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday night.

Alex Berenguer netted the only goal of the contest to put Ernesto Valverde's side in a strong position to finish the job in front of their own supporters later this month.

Athletic have also impressed in La Liga this season, boasting a record of 13 wins, six draws and four defeats from 23 matches, which has left them in fifth spot in the table, three points behind fourth-placed Atletico.

The Lions have not finished fourth in Spain's top flight since the 2013-14 campaign, but they are firmly in the mix for a Champions League spot at this stage, and it would go down as a very successful season if the Basque outfit were able to claim a top-four position and win the Copa del Rey.

The Red and Whites were 4-0 winners over Mallorca in La Liga last weekend, and they have the second-best defensive record on their travels this season behind Real Madrid, which is a further indication of the size of the task facing Almeria on Monday night.

Almeria La Liga form:

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:

Athletic Bilbao form (all competitions):

Team News

Athletic Bilbao's Nico Williams in action with Atletico Madrid's Rodrigo de Paul on February 19, 2023© Reuters

Almeria will be without the services of Luis Suarez and Arnau Puigmal on Monday through injury, while Cesar Montes, Ibrahima Kone and Aleksandar Radovanovic are major doubts.

The basement side will also have to work around the absence of Leo Baptistao, who was sent off in the latter stages of the 2-1 defeat at Valencia last time out.

Iddrisu Baba is expected to benefit if Montes is unavailable, while Baptistao's absence in the final third of the field will open the door for Anthony Lozano to start following his recent arrival from Getafe on loan.

Athletic are sweating over the fitness of Nico Williams, who did not feature against Atletico in the Copa del Rey due to a thigh problem, and he is a major doubt for this contest.

Inigo Lekue and Berenguer are definitely out through injury, but Inaki Williams is fit despite a recent foot issue, and he is expected to be named in the starting XI.

Should Nico Williams fail to recover in time, there is likely to be a start for Iker Muniain in a wide area, with the experienced attacker coming off the bench to score against Mallorca in the league last weekend.

Almeria possible starting lineup:
Maximiano; Pubill, Baba, Chumi, Centelles; Lopy, E Gonzalez; Arribas, Melero, Ramazani; Lozano

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; De Marcos, Yeray, Paredes, Yuri; Ruiz de Gallareta, Benat; I Williams, Sancet, Muniain; Guruzeta

SM words green background

We say: Almeria 0-2 Athletic Bilbao

Almeria can take positives from their performance against Valencia last time out, but it was another defeat, and they are now welcoming a very strong Athletic side. Shocks can happen at this stage of the campaign, but we are finding it tough to see anything other than a routine victory for the visitors on Monday night.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
1Real Madrid25195153163762
4Atletico MadridAtletico25163650262451
5Athletic Bilbao25147445232249
6Real Sociedad26101063526940
7Real BetisBetis2591242825339
9Las PalmasLas Palmas25105102525035
14Rayo Vallecano25510102233-1125
17Celta Vigo2548132737-1020

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