Bilbao vs Las Palmas by Jimeno
After two victories in a row, against Osasuna away from home and in front of own fans against Espanyol in quite convincing way, players of Athletic Bilbao didn't manage to look that threatening and to get the positive outcome away from home against Villarreal in a 3:1 defeat on last Friday evening.
The game itself was quite an interesting one, with the teams sharing ball possession, but the hosts entered the game better, with a goal from Ruiz in seventeenth minute, while the visitors bounced back with an equalizer just three minutes later via Laporte. Hosts were more concrete in the second halftime and sealed the victory in repetition via Bakambu in 47th and Adrian in 58th minute. Hosts stood playing with a man less in 74th when defender Ruiz got red carded, however without visitors exploiting that fact. Bilbao is now at eight position with just two points less than Europa League placed Sociedad and the team needs to get a victory here in order to stay competitive in that battle.
Their manager Ernest Valverde probably won't change the lineup much since he has quite well-rested players at his disposal without major injury troubles. Hosts should be playing in 4-2-3-1 formation with Aduriz as central striker, plus Muniain, Garcia and Williams as offensive midfielders.
Las Palmas, on the other side, reacted well after their two consecutive defeats away from home against Eibar and Celta Vigo both lost with 3:1 result, as the team impressed in front of own fans against Real Betis on Sunday evening with a 4:1 victory.
The game itself was actually quite an interesting one with the players of Las Palmas having a bit more of the ball possession, while players of Betis looked threatening too and weren't naive at all during all ninety minutes. Gomez brought the home team into the lead in 44th minute, while the second halftime got much more interesting. Hosts continued being more concrete in attack and scored three more in repetition, in 49th via Boateng, 62nd via viera and with fourth scored by Jese in 83rd from a penalty kick, while the guests only reduced deficit in 88th minute via Navarro. Las Palmas is now at thirteenth position having sixteen points more than relegating battle placed sides and the team can take a bit more relaxed their next matches.
Visitors are set to play in 4-3-3 formation, using Tana and Jese as wingers, plus Livaja as central striker most likely. Forward Kevin-Princ Boateng (25/9) is suspended for this one, while doubtful remains midfielder Javi Castellano (1/0).
- Las Palmas have conceded at least 3 goals in their last 4 away matches (La Liga).
Las Palmas is far below any kind of force when playing away from home, as the side stands second worst travelers with only six points taken out of fifteen matches. Athletic, on the other side, stands out as one of the strongest sides in front of own fans and with individual quality being on their side, I see players of Bilbao prevailing here way easier than what the odds suggest.