MX23RW : Monday, January 24 07:19:54| >> :600:150100:150100:
Nov 19, 2021 at 8pm UK at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia
LevanteLevante
0-0
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao

Marti (6'), Vezo (90+3')
FT

Alvarez (16')

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.

Athletic Bilbao will be looking to bounce back from a home defeat to Cadiz before the international break when they resume their La Liga campaign away to a struggling Levante on Friday night.

The visitors are currently eighth in Spain's top flight, having picked up 18 points from their opening 12 matches, while Levante sit 19th with just six points to show from their first 13 games of 2021-22.


Match preview

Levante's Marti Roger celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on August 22, 2021© Reuters

Levante are the only team in La Liga yet to record a victory this season, drawing six and losing seven of their opening 13 matches, which has left them in 19th in the table on six points.

The Frogs are playing in their fifth straight season at this level of football, finishing 15th, 15th, 12th and 14th in their last four campaigns, and the early indications are that it could be a tough season.

Javier Pereira's side picked up an impressive point at home to the champions Atletico Madrid at the end of October but were unable to build on that result, losing their last two to Granada and Alaves.

Levante have not actually been victorious in the league since overcoming Elche on April 10, and they are now facing two difficult matches to end the month against Athletic and Real Betis.

Athletic Bilbao players celebrate scoring against Barcelona on August 21, 2021© Reuters

Athletic, meanwhile, suffered a surprise 1-0 loss to Cadiz before the international break, with Salvi Sanchez on the scoresheet in the early stages of the contest at San Mames.

The defeat was a setback for the Basque outfit considering their positive start to the season, but they are still up in eighth position, picking up 18 points from their opening 12 games of the campaign.

Athletic are only actually three points behind fifth-placed Real Betis with a game in hand and have impressed defensively this season, conceding just eight times, which is the second-best record in the division.

That said, Marcelino's side, who drew with Espanyol and Real Sociedad ahead of the one-goal reverse to Cadiz on November 5, are the third-lowest scorers in La Liga with 11.

The Lions finished 10th in Spain's top flight last term but claimed fifth as recent as 2015-16 and will believe that they have the squad to challenge for a potential European finish this term.

Levante La Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

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



Team News

Levante's Jose Luis Morales celebrates scoring their first goal against Barcelona in La Liga on May 11, 2021© Reuters

Levante will be without the services of Jorge de Frutos due to a muscular problem, while Roger Marti and Sergio Postigo remain doubts for the home side here.

De Frutos's absence will open the door for Alejandro Cantero to feature in the final third of the field, where he could be joined by Roberto Soldado and Jose Luis Morales.

Nemanja Radoja could also be introduced in the middle of the park, but Enis Bardhi and Jose Campana are both expected to retain their spots in the first XI.

As for Athletic, Peru Nolaskoain remains on the sidelines with an ankle problem, while the match is expected to come too soon for both Daniel Vivian and Yuri Berchiche.

Asier Villalibre is available following recent problem, though, and Inigo Martinez will also be in the squad, with the centre-back serving a suspension against Cadiz last time out.

Raul Garcia is expected to start alongside Inaki Williams in the final third of the field, while Alex Berenguer and Iker Muniain should again feature in the wide positions.

Levante possible starting lineup:
Fernandez; Miramon, Vezo, Pier, Clerc; Bardhi, Campana, Radoja; Cantero, Soldado, Morales

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; Lekue, Alvarez, Martinez, Balenziaga; Berenguer, Vencedor, D Garcia, Muniain; Williams, R Garcia


SM words green background

We say: Levante 0-1 Athletic Bilbao

Athletic have found it difficult to find the back of the net in La Liga this season, so we are expecting this to be a low-scoring affair. Levante will end their winless run at some point, but we are struggling to back the home side here and have ultimately settled on a one-goal victory for Marcelino's team.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Levante vs Athletic Bilbao

Levante
20.1%
Draw
15.4%
Athletic Bilbao
64.5%
169
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Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on October 19, 2021
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rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid22155247202750
2Sevilla22137234161846
3Real Betis22124641251640
4Atletico MadridAtletico21106536261036
5Barcelona219843223935
6Real Sociedad219752221134
7Villarreal2288636231332
8Rayo Vallecano219482722531
9Athletic Bilbao2271052117431
10Valencia227873536-129
11Osasuna227782227-528
12Celta Vigo227692625127
13Espanyol227692630-427
14Granada225982633-724
15ElcheElche225892330-723
16Getafe2257101723-622
17Mallorca214891733-1620
18CadizCadiz2239101936-1718
19AlavesAlaves2245131635-1917
20Levante2118122143-2211

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