Preview: Levante vs. Athletic Bilbao

Preview: Levante vs. Athletic Bilbao

Levante will be looking to build on last weekend’s impressive win over Atletico Madrid when they continue their La Liga campaign at home to Athletic Bilbao on Friday night.

Paco Lopez’s side shocked leaders Atletico with a 2-0 victory in Madrid last time out, while Athletic will enter this contest off the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Villarreal.
Levante have finished 15th, 15th and 12th in La Liga since returning to this level in 2017-18, but they are currently in the mix for a potential European position in Spain’s top flight.

Indeed, a record of seven wins, 10 draws and seven defeats from 24 matches has left them in eighth position in the table, five points off seventh-placed Real Betis and six behind sixth-placed Villarreal.

Levante’s last two league matches have both been against Atletico, and they claimed a point against the leaders on February 17 before recording a shock 2-0 victory at Wanda Metropolitano last weekend courtesy of an own goal from Mario Hermoso and late effort from Jorge de Frutos.

Lopez’s team now face back-to-back games with Athletic, taking on the Basque side in the league on Friday before hosting them in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey on March 4.

The last-four contest is delicately poised ahead of the second leg as the two teams played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse game on February 11, and it will be fascinating to see which side comes out on top.
Athletic, as mentioned, are bidding to reach the 2021 Copa del Rey final, but they will also play the final of the 2020 competition against Real Sociedad at the start of April, with the contest being postponed last year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Basque outfit have only lost twice in La Liga since the start of the year – both to Barcelona – while they have picked up four points from their last two league games against Cadiz and Villarreal.
Gerard Moreno sent the Yellow Submarine ahead in the early stages of last weekend’s contest at San Mames, but Alex Berenguer continued his impressive scoring form by netting the leveller as it finished 1-1.

A total of 29 points from 23 matches has left Athletic in 10th position in the table, just two points behind Levante with a game in hand, and Marcelino’s side will also feel that they have an outside chance of claiming a top-seven spot as there is still a lot of football to be played before the end of the campaign.

Levante La Liga form: DWDLDW
Levante form (all competitions): WDDLDW

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form: LWLDWD
Athletic Bilbao form (all competitions): LWDDWD

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