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Villarreal vs Athletic Bilbao Betting Tips

  • 19:30
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    Athletic Bilbao

      Villarreal vs Athletic Bilbao Predictions


      The 1st leg in the Basque country last week was a very entertaining affair. Villarreal raced into a 2-0 lead at the break thanks to goals from Léo Baptistão and Samu. However Athletic staged an excellent comeback in the 2nd half with Inaki Williams, Aritz Aduriz and Aymeric Laporte all scoring to seal a 3-2 win for the home side.

      The tie though is still very much in the balance given Villarreal have got 2 away goals to their name and have been very strong at home. They have won 12 of their 14 games at El Madrigal this season and were 3-1 winners against Athletic when the sides met in the league back in September.

      Villarreal are in excellent form in La Liga too having won all of their last 6 matches to move into 4th place and at the half-way mark in the season they are only 5 points off top spot and 8 points clear of 5th place Celta Vigo. With Champions League qualification a distinct possibility they perhaps have more reason not to take this match so seriously.

      They have named much changed sides in almost all their cup games this season including the 1st leg of this tie and with European football starting again in February, there is a feeling that Villarreal might just benefit from getting knocked out of the Copa del Rey and not having to deal with what could be an extra 5 dates on the calendar.

      Athletic on the other hand took the 1st leg very seriously playing what was close to a full strength side and they are likely to do something similar again here. They’ve got an appetite for the Cups having reached the final of this competition last year and as a result gained entry into and won the Spanish Super Cup in August, ending their long wait for a trophy.

      They were beaten at the weekend by Sevilla in the league but have lost only 3 of their last 20 overall and at 8/11 are good value to avoid defeat and progress into the next round.

      Given Villarreal have 2 away goals in the bank, Athletic can’t afford to just sit back and play for a draw here as 1 goal for the hosts would put them out so they are likely to adopt a positive approach and the confidence gained from their rousing comeback last week could spur them on to a 2-1 win here at 11/1.

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