Atheltic Bilbao vs Eibar by Jimeno
Atheltic Bilbao comes from a 3:1 defeat last weekend away to Las Palmas and the team now needs to respond with a much better performance and three points are a demand here from their fans. During the midweek, they also had a Cope del Rey game away to Santander which they won with a 2:1 result, improving atmosphere a bit, but also almost securing their spot in the 1/8 phase of the Cup competition.
They were outplayed by Las Palmas last weekend, but overall didn't have much less chances created nor much less of the ball possession, but the players of the home side had matters in their own hands and looked more mature on the field, taking the lead in 40th minute with a goal from Boateng, but increasing the lead ten minutes later via Momo too. Visitors tried to respond and managed, in 79th minute from a penalty kick taken by Garcia, however stood playing with a man less in last fifteen minutes and couldn't do much, conceding another goal in 90th minute via Viera. Bilbao is now at eight position, two points less than sixth placed Villarreal and four less than Champions League placed Atletico Madrid, so a victory here remains a must for them.
Important offensive players, Raul Garcia (13/5) and Aduriz (12/5) will miss this match due suspension. Injured are central midfielder Mikel Rico (10/0) and right back De Marcos (11/0).
Eibar, on the other side, got their second consecutive victory in LaLiga last weekend, when the team won over Betis 3:1 in front of own fans. They were better and fully deserved the victory, but the main factor happened in seventeenth minute when the visiting side stood playing with a man less when Piccini got red carded and everything was much more easier for the players of Eibar from that moment on.
Hosts quickly increased the tempo and scored two goals within next six minutes, via Leon in 19th and Enrich in 23rd minute, lowering down the tempo and being satisfied with the result, but still threatening more than their opponents. Guests managed to temporarily reduce the deficit in 84th minute with a goal from Castro, but Kike sealed the final result six minutes later. Thanks to these two victories in front of own fans, as the team climbed up to seventh position now, having twenty-one point earned, which is just three less fourth placed Atletico.
No changes are expected in their team. Anaitz Arbilla should be employed as a right back, while the team should play in 4-2-3-1 formation with Enrich as central striker. Midfielders Dani Garcia and Fran Rico are both one booking away from suspenion and might be spared from ninety minutes of football here since their home game against Alaves might seem as a more important one next weekend.
Eibar looked decent in previous matches, but complete team is performing on way lower quality away from home having no victory in last four outings. Bilbao will be looking to continue with positive results after their previous home victory over Villarreal and I'm sure that the hosts have what it takes to get the three points here, while I believe odds do offer some value now, even though they miss two important offensive players, others are more than determined to show their quality.