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Athletic Bilbao vs Apoel Nicosia Predictions, Betting Tips and Match Previews

  • 20:05
  • Expired
  • San Mames
Athletic Bilbao
APOEL

Tip Reasoning

Athletic are strong favourites to overcome their Cypriot opponents, both on the night and over two legs. They’ve been very strong at home this season and ought to win this game but with the Basques struggling for clean sheets, it’d be no surprise to see the visitors on target here too.

They are in good form. APOEL have gone 15 matches without defeat in all competitions, winning 12 of them, although clearly the standard of domestic competitions in Cyprus isn’t great. They look to be on course to win their 5th consecutive Cypriot title and could even wrap that up on Monday when they host 2nd place AEL.

Their results this season in Europe have also shown they are no mugs and have enough about them to ask questions of their more illustrious opponents. They knocked out Norwegian side Rosenborg in Champions League qualifying earlier this season and narrowly missed out on a place in the UCL Group phase by going down to a 2-1 defeat to Copenhagen in the play-off round. They won 4 of their 6 Europa League group games to progress to this stage as easy group winners in the end, ahead of Olympiakos and technically they are the seeded team here.

Athletic are likely to be a bit of a step up in class on anyone they’ve faced so far this season though. Despite conceding 5 goals at San Mames, they won all 3 of their home group stage matches to progress, despite some poor results away. They are now on a 16 match unbeaten run at San Mames in all competitions and they’ve won 13 of those games so that is quite a formidable record and strongly suggests they will have too much for APOEL.

If you’re looking for an anytime goalscorer bet then Aritz Aduriz is surely the man. The veteran striker was the top scorer in the group stage and memorably hit all five goals in Athletic’s 5-3 win over Genk. He also popped up with a late winner in La Liga at the weekend and will be keen to try and add some silverware in the only competition Athletic have any chance of winning this season.

They certainly have plenty of ways they could hurt APOEL and should win the game but at 3/10, there’s no value in backing them for the win outright. When you consider that 10 of Athletic’s 13 home wins this term have seen both teams score, there looks to be much better value in backing Athletic Bilbao To Win & Both Teams To Score at 5/2, as APOEL showed more than enough quality in the group stage to suggest they will create chances here too.

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