MX23RW : Saturday, July 24 14:50:11| >> :600:3798601:3798601:
Dec 18, 2020 at 8pm UK at San Mames
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
Kodro (86' pen.), Nunez (90+2')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Pulido (36'), Doumbia (67')
Pulido (86')

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

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

Huesca will be looking to move out of the La Liga relegation zone when they continue their 2020-21 campaign away to Athletic Bilbao on Friday night.

The visitors picked up their first league victory of the season at home to Alaves last weekend to move off the bottom of the table, but Athletic will enter the game off the back of a 3-1 loss at Real Madrid.

Match preview

Athletic Bilbao head coach Gaizka Garitano pictured in March 2020© Reuters

No team in La Liga has lost more matches than Athletic this season, with the Basque outfit suffering seven defeats in their 13 fixtures, but a record of four wins and two draws has seen them collect 14 points, which is enough for 13th position heading into Friday's fixture with Huesca.

Gaizka Garitano's side ended November with a win over Real Betis and a draw with Getafe, but it has been a difficult start to December, picking up just one point from their three matches.

Athletic will enter this match off the back of a 3-1 loss at Real Madrid on Tuesday; Ander Capa levelled the scores at 1-1 in the early stages of the second half at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, but Karim Benzema scored twice in the latter stages to hand Zinedine Zidane's team all three points.

The Basque side, who have finished 16th, eighth and 11th in their last three seasons at this level, have won three of their last four matches with Huesca in all competitions, although the two sides played out a 2-2 draw in the corresponding fixture during the 2018-19 La Liga campaign.

Huesca manager Michel pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Huesca, as mentioned, managed to claim their first La Liga win of the season last weekend as a second-half goal from Javi Ontiveros helped them record a 1-0 victory over Alaves at Estadio El Alcoraz.

The three points moved the newly-promoted side off the bottom of the table and another win on Friday would, temporarily at least, see them rise out of the relegation zone into 16th.

Michel's side have actually only lost four of their 13 league matches this season, drawing a league-high eight times; securing victories has been a problem, but they have taken points off the likes of Atletico Madrid and Villarreal this term and will enter this match off the back of two straight wins.

Indeed, Huesca were also in Copa del Rey first-round action on Tuesday evening and recorded a 3-2 victory over Marchamalo after extra time, with Rafa Mir netting a hat-trick for the top-flight side.

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form: LWDLDL

Huesca La Liga form: LDDLDW
Huesca form (all competitions): DDLDWW

Team News

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

Athletic will again be without the services of Peru Nolaskoain through injury, while Raul Garcia is suspended due to the red card that he picked up against Real Madrid on Tuesday.

The Basque side did not suffer any fresh injury problems against the champions, but Garitano is expected to shuffle his pack from the clash in the Spanish capital.

Mikel Vesga, Asier Villalibre and Iker Muniain should all return to the starting XI, meaning that Inaki Williams is likely to switch from the centre-forward role to a wide area, while Alex Berenguer should keep out Inigo Cordoba to start on the right once again.

As for Huesca, Sandro Ramirez, Antonio Valera and Cheick Doukoure remain on the sidelines through injury, but the visitors are otherwise in good shape heading into the contest.

Mir scored a hat-trick in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday night, and the striker is expected to retain his spot in the side at the expense of Shinji Okazaki, who was given the nod through the middle against Alaves.

Michel could otherwise stick with the same XI that featured in the team's last league game, though, with Ontiveros and David Ferreiro featuring in the wide areas, and Borja Garcia, Pedro Mosquera and Mikel Rico operating as a midfield three in a 4-3-3 formation.

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; Capa, Yeray, Martinez, Yuri; D Garcia, Vesga; Williams, Muniain, Berenguer; Villalibre

Huesca possible starting lineup:
Alvaro; Maffeo, Pulido, Siovas, Galan; B Garcia, Mosquera, Rico; Ferreiro, Mir, Ontiveros

SM words green background

We say: Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Huesca

Huesca, despite their lowly spot in the table, have actually only lost one of their last six matches in all competitions, while Athletic have won just one of their last six. The points were shared when these two teams last played a La Liga match at the home of Athletic, and we are predicting another draw here.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away 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/Away:data

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