MX23RW : Monday, April 19 03:06:02| >> :600:103714:103714:
Feb 26, 2021 at 8pm UK at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia
LevanteLevante
1-1
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
Marti (33' pen.)
Coke (41'), Son (47'), Vukcevic (56'), Lopez (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Garcia (56' pen.)
Morcillo (90+4')

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

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

Levante will be looking to build on last weekend's impressive win over Atletico Madrid when they continue their La Liga campaign at home to Athletic Bilbao on Friday night.

Paco Lopez's side shocked leaders Atletico with a 2-0 victory in Madrid last time out, while Athletic will enter this contest off the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Villarreal.


Match preview

Levante head coach Paco Lopez pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Levante have finished 15th, 15th and 12th in La Liga since returning to this level in 2017-18, but they are currently in the mix for a potential European position in Spain's top flight.

Indeed, a record of seven wins, 10 draws and seven defeats from 24 matches has left them in eighth position in the table, five points off seventh-placed Real Betis and six behind sixth-placed Villarreal.

Levante's last two league matches have both been against Atletico, and they claimed a point against the leaders on February 17 before recording a shock 2-0 victory at Wanda Metropolitano last weekend courtesy of an own goal from Mario Hermoso and late effort from Jorge de Frutos.

Lopez's team now face back-to-back games with Athletic, taking on the Basque side in the league on Friday before hosting them in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey on March 4.

The last-four contest is delicately poised ahead of the second leg as the two teams played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse game on February 11, and it will be fascinating to see which side comes out on top.

Athletic Bilbao's Raul Garcia celebrates scoring against Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup on January 14, 2021© Reuters

Athletic, as mentioned, are bidding to reach the 2021 Copa del Rey final, but they will also play the final of the 2020 competition against Real Sociedad at the start of April, with the contest being postponed last year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Basque outfit have only lost twice in La Liga since the start of the year - both to Barcelona - while they have picked up four points from their last two league games against Cadiz and Villarreal.

Gerard Moreno sent the Yellow Submarine ahead in the early stages of last weekend's contest at San Mames, but Alex Berenguer continued his impressive scoring form by netting the leveller as it finished 1-1.

A total of 29 points from 23 matches has left Athletic in 10th position in the table, just two points behind Levante with a game in hand, and Marcelino's side will also feel that they have an outside chance of claiming a top-seven spot as there is still a lot of football to be played before the end of the campaign.

Levante La Liga form: DWDLDW
Levante form (all competitions): WDDLDW

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form: LWLDWD
Athletic Bilbao form (all competitions): LWDDWD


Team News

Athletic Bilbao's Inaki Williams celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates on January 17, 2021© Reuters

Levante will again be without the services of Gonzalo Melero, Nemanja Radoja and Jose Campana through injury, while Enis Bardhi and Sergio Postigo will miss the contest due to recent problems.

The home side will also be without Ruben Vezo through suspension, meaning that Jorge Miramon could be handed a starting role as part of a back three.

Jose Luis Morales and Sergio Leon should continue in the final third of the field, although Ruben Rochina's starting role could be taken by De Frutos, who scored late against Atletico last time out.

As for Athletic, Dani Garcia is suspended due to the yellow card that he picked up against Villarreal last time out, but Unai Nunez and Mikel Vesga are both available following bans of their own.

Vesga should take Dani Garcia's spot in the middle of the park, while Nunez could replace Inigo Martinez at the heart of the defence, but there are not expected to be alterations elsewhere.

Indeed, Berenguer has been in impressive scoring form - netting three goals in his last two outings - and should continue on the right, with Iker Muniain, Inaki Williams and Raul Garcia also featuring in the attacking positions.

Levante possible starting lineup:
Cardenas; Miramon, Duarte, Rober; Coke, Malsa, Vukcevic, Tono; De Frutos, Leon, Morales

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; De Marcos, Yeray, Nunez, Yuri; Berenguer, Vesga, Lopez, Muniain; R Garcia, Williams


SM words green background

We say: Levante 1-1 Athletic Bilbao

There is not an awful lot between the two sides in terms of quality, and it could be a cagey affair ahead of their Copa del Rey semi-final second-leg clash on March 4; we are finding it difficult to separate the pair in this contest and have ultimately settled on a low-scoring draw in Valencia.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting 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.Away Win:data


ID:436551: cacheID:436551:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:10656:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Casemiro in action for Real Madrid on February 20, 2021
Read Next:
European roundup: Atletico suffer shock defeat, Dortmund thrash Schalke
>

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico MadridAtletico31217357203770
2Real Madrid31207453242967
3Barcelona30205569264365
4Sevilla31204746252164
5Villarreal311213648341449
6Real Betis31146114245-348
7Real Sociedad311211848331547
8Granada30116133650-1439
9Levante31911113844-638
10Celta Vigo31911114148-738
11Athletic Bilbao30910113933637
12Osasuna31910122736-937
13CadizCadiz3199132745-1836
14Valencia31811123944-535
15Getafe31710142234-1231
16AlavesAlaves3169162547-2227
17Huesca31512143146-1527
18Real Valladolid30512132741-1427
19ElcheElche31511152748-2126
20EibarEibar31411162241-1923

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!