Bilbao vs Girona by Jimeno
Bilbao is having a decent start in the season as the team managed to progress in Europa League qualifiers and excluded Romanian side Dinamo Bucharesti and Greek Panathinaikos to reach the group stage of the competition, while they have earned four points out of first two rounds in Spanish LaLiga. Firstly they had a goalless draw in front of own fans against Getafe in the season opening game, but did improve slightly and managed to take all three points away from home against Eibar with a narrow 1:0 result.
It was a hard fought victory in quite a defenive minded match, where the players of Bilbao took the lead in 38th minute via Aduriz, managing to look well in the defense and without many threatening situation in front of own goal, even though the players of Eibar had more of the ball possession. The side is now in the middle table with four points and surely aim to get a three pointer here in front of their European duties next Thursday.
Hosts are set to play in 4-2-3-1 formation with Williams as central striker, plus Muniain, Garcia and Susaeta as offensive midfielders. Forward Aritz Aduriz (2/1) is doubtful for this one due minor back problem, while central defender Yeray Alvarez (no performance so far) and right back Oscar De Marcos (1/0) will not be playing here.
Girona, as a newly promoted side on the other hand, surely has the only target to avoid relegation this season and see what's possible in years to come to improve even further. So far, they have started the season more than well, with two home matches firstly taking a point (surprisingly for sure) against Atletico Madrid (which is surely a positive outcome for them, even though they had the double lead in the first halftime and all the way till last fifteen minutes of the match or so.
However, the team improved even further and managed to get the three pointer in front of own fans again, this time against Malaga just before the international break. Only goal was scored in 28th minute via Alcala. They left the ball possession to the players of Malaga since then, but the visitors weren't that fluid and the home team remained being more threatening one, despite they had less of the possession.
Guests are set to play in 3-4-3 with Portu and Garcia on the wings, plus Stuani as central striker. No special changes are expect for their side since they seem to be with more than decent momentum. Injured continue to be midfielder David Timor, who didn't play however anyway so far in the season.
- Athletic Bilbao are undefeated in 18 of their last 19 home matches (La Liga).
Bilbao surely remains a favorite for this one, however I really liked what I saw from the players of Girona and we should be able to get on the scoresheet as well. I'm quite confident that the visitors will be playing without fear this one.