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Jul 19, 2020 at 8pm UK at Los Carmenes
GranadaGranada
4-0
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
Soldado (29'), Puertas (55'), Fernandez (67'), Montoro (90+3')
Herrera (6')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Garcia (17'), Berchiche (75')

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

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

Granada and Athletic Bilbao will both endeavour to end their seasons on a high when they lock horns in the final round of La Liga fixtures on Sunday.

Granada currently lie ninth on 53 points, whereas Athletic are only one place and two points below their opponents heading into the final day of the season.


Match preview

Granada manager Diego Martinez pictured in February 2020© Reuters

No matter the outcome of Sunday's game, Granada can hold their head high and be extremely proud of what they have achieved during the 2019-20 campaign.

Having just made their return to the big time last year, Diego Martinez's men are well on course for a top-half finish and could still qualify for the Europa League even at this very late stage.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the Copa del Rey, seventh would be good enough for a European spot if the final cannot be played before August 3, so Granada would have to triumph over Athletic and hope that Getafe and Valencia both fail to win this weekend.

El Grana head into the final day of the season following a 2-1 victory over Mallorca - a result which confirmed the latter's relegation from the top flight - although Granada have only tasted victory once in their last five matches on home soil.

Athletic Bilbao's Inaki Williams celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on February 6, 2020© Reuters

In contrast, Athletic's European hopes are practically dead and buried following a dismal 2-0 home defeat to relegation candidates Leganes on Thursday.

The tone for the game was set early on following goalkeeper Unai Simon's red card after just 22 minutes, and the ten men of Athletic eventually succumbed to late goals from Miguel Angel Guerrero and Roger Assale in their final home game of the season.

Having just missed out on Europa League qualification on goal difference last season, the 2019-20 campaign has been rather unspectacular for Gaizka Garitano's men.

Athletic can still break into the top seven but the odds are stacked heavily against Garitano's side - they would have to beat Granada and hope that Valencia and Getafe both suffer defeat.

It is never over until the final whistle blows, though, so while there is still the faintest opportunity for Athletic to ply their trade in European competition next season, Garitano will accept no less than 100% effort from his men against fellow Europa League hopefuls Granada.

Athletic defeated Granada in the last four of this season's Copa del Rey on away goals, but Martinez's men did record a 2-1 win in the second leg of the semi final - the most recent meeting between the two clubs.

Granada La Liga form: LWDWLW

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form: WWLLWL


Team News

Athletic Bilbao's Dani Garcia in action with Barcelona's Rafinha on August 19, 2019© Reuters

Granada's treatment room is almost at full capacity right now, with the likes of Quini, Alex Martinez, Neyder Lozano and Maxime Gonalons all unavailable.

Jesus Vallejo, Alvaro Vadillo and Dimitri Foulquier are further doubts, while Darwin Machis is suspended for the final day of the season after accumulating five yellow cards.

The absence of Machis opens up a spot for Gil Dias to feature on the left, while Thursday's match-winner Carlos Fernandez should come back into the starting lineup.

With regards to Athletic, the suspended Simon will be replaced by Iago Herrerin in goal, while Inigo Martinez returns from a suspension of his own and is in line to feature in defence.

Dani Garcia is an option for change in the middle of the park, while Inaki Williams may be moved to a central role with Raul Garcia behind him.

Granada possible starting lineup:
Silva; Diaz, Duarte, Sanchez, Neva; Eteki, Herrera; Puertas, Fernandez, Dias; Soldado

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Herrerin; Capa, Alvarez, Martinez, Yuri; D. Garcia, Vesga; Muniain, Garcia, Cordoba; Williams


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We say: Granada 3-2 Athletic Bilbao

Even if there is a victor in this match, it may not make a difference to their European hopes depending on results elsewhere. Both sides will be going all out for the win regardless, and that should make for an enticing affair, and we are backing Granada to just edge it and end their memorable season on a high note.


ID:406825:cQx

Who will win Sunday's La Liga clash between Granada and Athletic Bilbao?

Granada
Draw
Athletic Bilbao
Granada
47.7%
Draw
20.5%
Athletic Bilbao
31.8%
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