Sevilla will be looking to bounce back from Wednesday’s Champions League disappointment when they continue their La Liga campaign away to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night.
Julen Lopetegui’s side are currently second in Spain’s top flight, while Athletic occupy ninth, having picked up 21 points from their opening 16 matches of the 2021-22 campaign.
Athletic have won four, drawn nine and lost three of their 16 league matches this season to collect 21 points, which has left them in ninth position in the table ahead of the next set of fixtures in Spain’s top flight.
The Basque outfit have not actually been victorious in the league since beating Villarreal on October 23, drawing five of their last seven, including a 0-0 against Getafe on December 6.
Athletic now have three home games in a row against Sevilla, Real Betis and Real Madrid ahead of the winter break, and they could find themselves in the top seven with a positive run of form.
Marcelino’s side have finished 11th and 10th in their last two league seasons, but they were a top-seven team between 2014 and 2017, and the quality is there to push into the top seven this term.
The Lions have actually been victorious in their last two league matches against Sevilla, including a 2-1 success in the corresponding clash last term, while they also won 1-0 at Estadio Ramon in May.
Sevilla, meanwhile, will enter the match off the back of a 1-0 defeat to RB Salzburg in the Champions League on Wednesday, which saw them finish third in Group G and drop into the Europa League.
Considering the strength of the group, third is a major disappointment for Sevilla, but Los Nervionenses have been excellent in Spain’s top flight this term, picking up 31 points from 15 matches to sit second.
Lopetegui’s side are eight points behind leaders Real Madrid but have a game in hand on Los Blancos, while they are only two points clear of fifth-placed Real Sociedad, so a disappointing run of results could see them slide down the table relatively quickly.
Sevilla might have lost in the Champions League on Wednesday, but they have won their last two domestic fixtures, beating Cordoba 1-0 in the first round of the Copa del Rey on December 1 before recording a 1-0 victory over Villarreal in the league three days later.
The Red and Whites will be back in Copa del Rey action against Andratx on December 15 before hosting Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the league ahead of the winter break.
Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:
Sevilla La Liga form:
Sevilla form (all competitions):
We say: Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Sevilla
This is a very tough match for Sevilla off the back of a European fixture, and we are struggling to back the visitors to triumph this weekend. Athletic have drawn nine of their 16 league matches this season, losing just three times, and we are predicting another stalemate for the Basque outfit here.