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Celta Vigo logo
La Liga | Gameweek 36
May 15, 2024 at 9pm UK
Estadio de Balaidos
Athletic Bilbao logo

Celta Vigo
2 - 1
Athletic Bilbao

Swedberg (68'), Alvarez (71')
Starfelt (80'), Cervi (90+5')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Berenguer (23')

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

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

Celta Vigo will continue their survival fight when they face Athletic Bilbao in Wednesday's La Liga clash at Balaidos.

The Galician hosts head into matchday 36 in 18th position, while Los Leones are sitting in fifth place after collecting 61 points from 35 matches.

Match preview

Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on February 17, 2024© Reuters

Celta suffered a third consecutive away defeat at the weekend despite putting in a determined display in their away meeting with fourth-placed Atletico Madrid.

Claudio Giraldez's side kept Atleti at bay until the 84th minute when Rodrigo De Paul scored a sensational winner to condemn Celta to their 17th league defeat of the season – only Granada and Almeria have lost more games in La Liga this term.

Despite falling to add to their 34-point tally, Celta still have a sizeable five-point buffer between themselves and Cadiz ahead of their final three fixtures against Athletic, Granada and Valencia.

With Celta looking to extend their 12-year stay in the top flight, they can secure mathematical safety on matchday 36 if they beat Athletic and Cadiz lose to Sevilla.

Los Celestes may only have the fourth-best home record in the division, but they have fared well in recent outings at Balaidos, having won three of their previous four matches in front of their supporters.

After winning their last two home matches, Celta now have the opportunity to claim three consecutive home league wins for the first time since the 2020-21 season.

Athletic Bilbao's Oihan Sancet celebrates scoring against Mallorca on April 6, 2024© Reuters

Since winning the Copa del Rey, Athletic have experienced an inconsistent run of league form, with their last five matches producing one win, three draws and one defeat.

Los Leones managed to show great fight to salvage a 2-2 draw in Saturday's home clash with Osasuna thanks to Inaki Williams's 58th-minute effort and Asier Villalibre's stoppage-time equaliser.

Although rescued a point, Athletic's Champions League hopes were all but ended by Atletico Madrid's 1-0 win over Celta Vigo, leaving the Basque side eight points adrift of the top four with three games left to play.

Los Leones can still be proud of the fact that they are on the verge of securing Europa League qualification and a fifth-placed finish, which would represent their best La Liga season since 2015-16.

Athletic's success has been built upon a foundation of strong defence which has conceded just 35 league goals in as many matches – only champions Real Madrid have let in fewer this season.

Athletic were not at their defensive best in November's reverse fixture, but they still had the firepower required to claim a 4-3 win over Celta at San Mames.

Celta Vigo La Liga form:

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:

Athletic Bilbao form (all competitions):

Team News

Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde on March 3, 2024© Reuters

Mihailo Ristic missed the defeat to Atletico due to an ankle problem, and the left-back is unlikely to recover for the midweek clash with Athletic.

Joseph Aidoo remains a long-term absentee, but Carles Perez and Williot Swedberg should be available after returning to training.

Celta legend Iago Aspas will be one of the home side's main attacking outlets after scoring three goals in the last two matches at Balaidos.

As for Athletic, they remain without Oihan Sancet and Gorka Guruzeta, while Iker Munain and Nico Williams have joined the absentee list due to muscle injuries.

Left-back Yuri Berchiche will drop out of the squad to serve a one-match suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.

Having been forced to sit out the last two matches, midfielder Inigo Ruiz de Galarreta could be passed fit to feature in the matchday squad.

Yeray Alvarez and Aitor Paredes are back from suspension, with the latter set to partner Dani Vivian in central defence.

Celta Vigo possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Nunez, Starfelt, Jailson; Mingueza, Beltran, Rodriguez, Alvarez; Aspas, Swedberg, Larsen

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; De Marcos, Paredes, Vivian, Lekue; Prados, Vesga; I Williams, Muniain, Berenguer; Villalibre

SM words green background

We say: Celta Vigo 1-1 Athletic Bilbao

Athletic have won just two of their last eight away league games, and we think that they will have to settle for a draw against a Celta side that has avoided defeat in each of their previous four home matches.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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rhs 2.0
Today's games header
Tables header RHS
CReal Madrid37297187266194
4Atletico MadridAtletico372341068432573
5Athletic Bilbao371811860372365
6Real Sociedad371612951371460
7Real BetisBetis37141494845356
14Celta Vigo371010174455-1140
15Las PalmasLas Palmas37109183246-1439
16Rayo Vallecano37814152947-1838

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