Athletic Bilbao will be looking to bounce back from a home defeat to Cadiz before the international break when they resume their La Liga campaign away to a struggling Levante on Friday night.
The visitors are currently eighth in Spain’s top flight, having picked up 18 points from their opening 12 matches, while Levante sit 19th with just six points to show from their first 13 games of 2021-22.
Levante are the only team in La Liga yet to record a victory this season, drawing six and losing seven of their opening 13 matches, which has left them in 19th in the table on six points.
The Frogs are playing in their fifth straight season at this level of football, finishing 15th, 15th, 12th and 14th in their last four campaigns, and the early indications are that it could be a tough season.
Javier Pereira’s side picked up an impressive point at home to the champions Atletico Madrid at the end of October but were unable to build on that result, losing their last two to Granada and Alaves.
Levante have not actually been victorious in the league since overcoming Elche on April 10, and they are now facing two difficult matches to end the month against Athletic and Real Betis.
Athletic, meanwhile, suffered a surprise 1-0 loss to Cadiz before the international break, with Salvi Sanchez on the scoresheet in the early stages of the contest at San Mames.
The defeat was a setback for the Basque outfit considering their positive start to the season, but they are still up in eighth position, picking up 18 points from their opening 12 games of the campaign.
Athletic are only actually three points behind fifth-placed Real Betis with a game in hand and have impressed defensively this season, conceding just eight times, which is the second-best record in the division.
That said, Marcelino’s side, who drew with Espanyol and Real Sociedad ahead of the one-goal reverse to Cadiz on November 5, are the third-lowest scorers in La Liga with 11.
The Lions finished 10th in Spain’s top flight last term but claimed fifth as recent as 2015-16 and will believe that they have the squad to challenge for a potential European finish this term.
Levante La Liga form:
Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:
We say: Levante 0-1 Athletic Bilbao
Athletic have found it difficult to find the back of the net in La Liga this season, so we are expecting this to be a low-scoring affair. Levante will end their winless run at some point, but we are struggling to back the home side here and have ultimately settled on a one-goal victory for Marcelino’s team.