MX23RW : Saturday, November 27 23:56:11| >> :600:261754:261754:
Jul 12, 2020 at 4pm UK at Ciudad de Valencia
LevanteLevante
1-2
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
Bardhi (71')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Garcia (4', 45+1')
Martinez (17')

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

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

Athletic Bilbao will be looking to keep their hopes of a top-six finish in La Liga alive when they travel to Levante on Sunday afternoon.

The Basque outfit are currently ninth in the table, five points off sixth-placed Getafe, while Levante occupy 12th spot, five points behind their opponents this weekend.


Match preview

Levante midfielder Enis Bardhi in action against Real Madrid in October 2018© Reuters

Twelve wins, seven draws and 16 defeats - that is how Levante have performed in Spain's top flight this season, with a total of 43 points leaving them in 12th position in the table.

They have finished 15th in each of their last two campaigns at this level and have not actually ended a top-flight season above 14th since 2013-14, which is an indication of their success this term.

The Frogs will enter this match off the back of a disappointing 2-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Mallorca on Thursday night, but they have been in relatively good form since returning to action last month.

Paco Lopez's side have won eight of their 17 home league matches this season, meanwhile, suffering just four defeats, which is an indication of the size of Athletic's task in this weekend's encounter.

Athletic Bilbao's Ander Capa in action with Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann on August 16, 2019© Reuters

Athletic, meanwhile, currently sit ninth in the table, five points off sixth-placed Getafe with three games left as they battle for a spot in next season's Europa League.

The Basque side were in excellent shape when they beat Valencia 2-0 at the start of the month, but they have lost their last two against Real Madrid and Sevilla.

Athletic will fancy their chances of beating Leganes at home on July 14, meaning that a win this weekend could leave them in a decent position to challenge for a top-six spot ahead of their clash with Granada on July 18.

Gaizka Garitano's side have struggled for victories on their travels this season, though, winning just three of their 17 La Liga games away from San Mames, which will not fill their supporters with too much confidence.

Levante La Liga form: WLWDDL

Athletic La Liga form: WLWWLL


Team News

Levante's Nemanja Radoja celebrates scoring their third goal against Barcelona on November 2, 2019© Reuters

Levante will again be without the services of Ivan Lopez due to a knee problem, but the home side are otherwise in good shape when it comes to absentees for this game.

Lopez is expected to shuffle his pack from the side that started against Mallorca, with Borja Mayoral, Sergio Leon and Ruben Rochina all potentially returning to the starting XI.

As for Athletic, Yeray Alvarez remains on the sidelines with a calf problem, but experienced Spaniard Raul Garcia will be available, having served a one-game suspension against Sevilla.

Raul Garcia is likely to return to the starting XI in place of Oihan Sancet, although it could otherwise be the same side that featured last time out.

Indeed, Inaki Williams, Inigo Cordoba and Iker Muniain should all keep their spots in attacking positions, while Mikel Vesga is again likely to get the nod in the middle of the park.

Levante possible starting lineup:
Fernandez; Coke, Rober, Vezo, Tono; Bardhi, Radoja, Rochina, Leon; Mayoral, Marti

Athletic possible starting lineup:
Simon; Capa, Nunez, Martinez, Yuri; Vesga, D Garcia; Cordoba, R Garcia, Muniain; Williams


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Levante 1-1 Athletic Bilbao

This game has a draw written all over it; Athletic have shared the points in eight of their 17 away league matches this season, while Levante have only suffered four La Liga defeats on home soil. A draw is not what Athletic will be looking for as they bid to make the top six, but we are struggling to separate the two sides.



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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid1393132141830
2Real Sociedad148511910929
3Sevilla138412391428
4Atletico MadridAtletico137512213926
5Rayo Vallecano157352316724
6Real Betis147342217524
7Barcelona146532316723
8Athletic Bilbao144821310320
9Valencia154742221119
10Osasuna145451418-419
11Espanyol144551414017
12Villarreal143741616016
13Celta Vigo154471619-316
14Mallorca153751422-816
15AlavesAlaves144281119-814
16Granada142661422-812
17CadizCadiz142661223-1112
18ElcheElche142571120-911
19Getafe152491019-910
20Levante140771225-137

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