Bilbao vs Betis by Jimeno
Bilbao took third victory in last four matches away from home in LaLiga on Monday evening, as the team won over Eibar with a narrow 1:0 result. However, it must be said that the match wasn't that interesting and that it was quite a defensive one, but the hosts stood playing with a man less since 56th when midfielder Escalante got red carded.
Players of Athletic Bilbao risked a bit more in the last phase of the match and were rewarded for their fighting spirit, scrogint he only goal in fourth minute of additional time via Garcia. With this three pointer, which was their fourth in last five matches, the side now remains at sixth position which leads to Europa League, having just a point more than seventh placed Real Sociedad, meaning that they need to win this one.
Their manager Ernesto Valverde has no injury concerns ahead of this one, since only doubtful player remains right back Elustondo (2/0) who anyway didn't play much so far.
Betis, on the other side, took a surprising 1:0 victory away from home against Celta Vigo on Sunday evening, as they showed much more fighting and attacking spirit than what we were used to see from them till now on the road. However, must be said that the coaching stuff of Celta decided to rest several important players ahead of their busy schedule.
As said, Betis didn't wait behind the ball and were attacking, scoring a goal in 54th minute via Brasanac and keeping the lead all the way till the end, without being threatened a lot at the back. It was their second consecutive victory since the team previous won against Eibar at home 2:0. The side is at fifteenth position without relegating worries and can play the rest of their LaLiga matches a bit more relaxed than the sides below them.
Jonas Martin and German Pezzella both return from suspension, while the visiting side have first choice goalkeeper Antonio Adan (33/0), right back Cristiano Piccini (23/2) and forward Antonio Sanabria (22/4) as doubtful for this one, with the last two with little chances to play.
Betis managed to surprise away from home against Celta, but I don't see them being that competitive twice in a row on the road, especially when knowing their record away from their own fans. Bilbao needs to get a victory here and I believe that the hosts will make it without being jeopardized in last phase of the match.