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Granada logo
La Liga | Gameweek 16
Dec 11, 2023 at 8pm UK
Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes
Athletic Bilbao logo
Granada
1 - 1
Athletic Bilbao
FT(HT: 0-1)
Williams (6')
Williams (78'), Berchiche (90')

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

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

Athletic Bilbao will be aiming to continue their impressive run of form when they head to Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes on Sunday afternoon to face La Liga strugglers Granada.

The visitors are currently fifth in the table, boasting 28 points from their opening 15 matches, while Granada sit in 19th, having only managed to collect seven points from their first 15 games of 2023-24.


Match preview

Granada coach Alexandre Medina on December 2, 2023© Reuters

It was always going to be a tough ask for new Granada head coach Alexander Medina to help his side pick up a positive result in his first game in charge at Real Madrid last weekend, and the strugglers suffered a 2-0 defeat, but there were certainly positives to take from the overall performance.

There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a tough first few months of the season for Granada, with a record of one win, four draws and 10 losses from 15 matches seeing them collect only seven points, which has left them in 19th position in the table.

The Andalusian outfit's only league win of the season came at home to Mallorca at the end of August, and they have lost five of their last six matches in Spain's top flight.

Granada secured a return to this level as Segunda Division champions, but their transition back to the top flight has proven to be tough thus far, and they have another very difficult match on paper this weekend against a talented Athletic side.

The hosts have actually won three of their last five league games against Athletic, though, suffering just one defeat, with the run including a 1-0 success when they last locked horns in May 2022.

Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde on October 22, 2023© Reuters

Athletic, meanwhile, are unbeaten in all competitions since a 1-0 loss to Barcelona in La Liga at the end of October, winning five and drawing two of their seven fixtures since.

The Lions have been victorious in three of their last four in Spain's top flight, including a 4-0 success over Rayo Vallecano at San Mames last weekend, which moved them onto 28 points from 15 matches this season.

Ernesto Valverde's side are only three points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, and they certainly look capable of pushing for a top-four position in the table this season.

Athletic were also in action on Thursday evening, comfortably booking their spot in the third round of the competition with a 3-0 success over Cayon, meaning that it is seven goals scored and zero conceded in their two matches since a 1-1 draw with Girona in the league at the end of November.

The Basque outfit have also won three of their last four matches away from home, and another victory on Sunday would lead them nicely into a huge game with Atletico at San Mames on December 16.

Granada La Liga form:


Granada form (all competitions):


Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:


Athletic Bilbao form (all competitions):



Team News

Granada's Raul Fernandez is substituted after sustaining an injury on December 2, 2023© Reuters

Granada lost their goalkeeper Raul Fernandez to a muscular injury in the early stages of the clash with Real Madrid last time out, so there will be a starting spot between the sticks for Andre Ferreira here.

Njegos Petrovic is also pushing to be included in a wide position, while Bryan Zaragoza, who is joining Bayern Munich at the end of the season, is a certain starter in an attacking area.

Jesus Vallejo and Miguel Angel Rubio were both missing at Bernabeu due to injuries, and the pair are also expected to be unavailable for selection for this match.

As for Athletic, Dani Garcia is out, most likely until January, due to a muscular issue, while Yeray Alvarez is not expected to overcome a muscular problem of his own in time to feature this weekend.

Head coach Valverde rung the changes in the Copa del Rey, but the big-hitters will be back for this match, with Inaki Williams, Nico Williams, Oihan Sancet and Gorka Guruzeta among those set to return.

It could be the same side that took to the field for the first whistle against Rayo in the league last weekend, with Aitor Paredes again featuring in the middle of the defence for the Lions.


Granada possible starting lineup:
Ferreira; Sanchez, Miquel, Torrente, Neva; Petrovic, Ruiz, Gumbau, Zaragoza; Uzuni, Boye

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; De Marcos, Vivian, Paredes, Lekue; Herrera, Ruiz de Galarreta; I Williams, Sancet, N Williams; Guruzeta


SM words green background

We say: Granada 1-2 Athletic Bilbao

We are expecting this to be a close match in terms of the general play and indeed the scoreline, but Athletic are in excellent form at the moment, and we believe that the Lions will be able to navigate their way to what would be an important victory at this stage of the campaign.



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


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 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 2.5:data


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Game History

How you voted: Granada vs Athletic Bilbao

Granada
12.0%
Draw
6.0%
Athletic Bilbao
82.0%
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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid27206156183866
2GironaGirona26185357322559
3Barcelona26176356342257
4Atletico MadridAtletico27174654292555
5Athletic Bilbao26147546262049
6Real BetisBetis27101253228442
7Real Sociedad27101073729840
8Valencia2610793131037
9Las PalmasLas Palmas27107102929037
10Getafe2781183641-535
11Osasuna2696113037-733
12Villarreal2788114349-632
13AlavesAlaves2678112532-729
14Sevilla2769123340-727
15Rayo Vallecano27511112337-1426
16Celta Vigo2759133039-924
17Mallorca26412102334-1124
18CadizCadiz27213121838-2019
19Granada2628162854-2614
20Almeria2709182555-309

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