MX23RW : Friday, April 23 12:06:57| >> :600:163688:163688:
Mar 7, 2021 at 8pm UK at San Mames
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
2-1
GranadaGranada
Villalibre (3'), Berenguer (90+1')
Garcia (28'), Vencedor (68')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Molina (78')
Herrera (59'), Diaz (90+5')

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

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

Following their Copa del Rey semi-final triumph in the week, Athletic Bilbao will host Granada at the Estadio San Mames on Sunday in La Liga.

Three points for 10th-placed Athletic Club could see Marcelino's men leapfrog their opponents into eighth place.


Match preview

Athletic Bilbao Marcelino pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Athletic's strange season became even stranger this week after they reached their second Copa del Rey final in as many years.

The postponement of the 2020 final means Marcelino's side will now play two cup finals in the space of two weeks in April. In these unprecedented days, Athletic could essentially win La Copa twice without any fans present to see them do so.

With the team also winning the Spanish Super Cup earlier this season, much of Athletic's current success can be attributed to the arrival of boss Marcelino, who has turned the club's fortunes around in spectacular fashion.

But Athletic are far from a cup side. Marcelino has hauled the club up the division since his arrival and the team have been performing well in recent weeks.

Last time out in the league against Levante, Athletic managed to grind out a point in a 1-1 draw. Raul Garcia converted a penalty not long after the interval and Marcelino's men were unlucky not to win the game too.

Granada players celebrate overcoming Napoli in the Europa League on February 25, 2021© Reuters

In what has already been a successful season for Diego Martinez's Granada side, the Andalusian outfit could cement their top-tier La Liga credentials with three points against Athletic on Sunday.

Currently eighth in the league standings, a win for Granada could hoist them up into the upper echelons of the division where the fight for European football next season is really hotting up.

A rarely mentioned aspect of Granada's style of football is just how dependent Martinez's side are on the team's attacking players. Having conceded 42 goals so far this campaign, Granada have the worst defensive record in the division.

Against Elche in the league last time, Granada were in devastating form, beating Fran Escriba's side 2-1 at the Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes.

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D

Athletic Bilbao form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

Granada La Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W

Granada form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W


Team News

Granada's Kenedy celebrates scoring their second goal with Jorge Molina on February 18, 2021© Reuters

Marcelino has a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of this weekend's La Liga action.

Absentees include midfielders Dani Garcia and Unai Lopez, who are both suspended for this tie.

In comparison, Granada are in the midst of a major injury crisis and Martinez will be without a host of first-team regulars for Sunday's encounter.

Yangel Herrera, Alberto Soro, Darwin Machis, Jesus Vallejo, Angel Montoro, German Sanchez, Carlos Neva and Maxime Gonalons are all currently out injured.

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; de Marcos, Nunez, Alvarez, Berchiche; Alex Berenguer, Lopez, Vesga, Muniain; Williams, Garcia

Granada possible starting lineup:
Silva; Foulquier, Duarte, Perez, Diaz; Herrera, Eteki, Kenedy, Quina, Puertas; Molina


SM words green background

We say: Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Granada

Granada are one of those sides that will concede goals rain or shine, so do not expect Athletic Club to pull their punches. We think Athletic definitely have what it takes to leapfrog Granada this weekend. We are going with Inaki Williams and Iker Muniain for the scorers.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win 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.Home Win:data


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico MadridAtletico32227359203973
2Real Madrid32217456243270
3Barcelona31215574284668
4Sevilla32214747252267
5Real Sociedad321311850341650
6Real Betis32147114245-349
7Villarreal321213749361349
8Granada31126134051-1142
9Osasuna321010123037-740
10Celta Vigo32911124250-838
11Athletic Bilbao31911113933638
12Levante32911123845-738
13CadizCadiz3299142748-2136
14Valencia32811134047-735
15Getafe32710152439-1531
16AlavesAlaves3279162748-2130
17Real Valladolid31513132842-1428
18Huesca32512153148-1727
19ElcheElche32512152849-2127
20EibarEibar32411172345-2223

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