Preview: Alaves vs. Athletic Bilbao

Preview: Alaves vs. Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao will be bidding to continue their impressive run of form when they make the trip to Basque rivals Alaves on Friday night.

The visitors are currently fourth in the La Liga table, boasting 10 points from their first five matches, while Alaves sit 14th, collecting six points from their opening five games of the season.

Alaves were promoted back to La Liga via the 2022-23 Segunda Division playoffs, so their main goal for this season is to survive in the top flight, with any spot over 18th considered to be a success.

With that in mind, it has been a relatively solid start to the campaign, picking up six points from five matches, which has left them in 14th position in the table.

Alaves started their season with a 1-0 defeat to Cadiz before beating Sevilla 4-3 and losing 1-0 to Getafe in their final two matches of August.

Luis Garcia’s side opened September with a 1-0 success over Alaves, but they were beaten 2-0 by Rayo Vallecano last time out to make it three straight defeats on their travels.

Alaves will be pleased to be back on home soil for this match, and El Glorioso have only lost one of their last five La Liga games with Athletic, recording two wins in the process, which have both been in front of their own fans.

Athletic have been one of the most impressive teams in La Liga this season, winning three, drawing one and losing one of their five matches to collect 10 points, which has left them in fourth spot in the table.

The Lions opened their campaign with a 2-0 home loss to Real Madrid before winning their next two, beating Osasuna 2-0 away and Real Betis 4-2 at home.

Ernesto Valverde’s side then drew 0-0 with Mallorca ahead of the international break, but they were back to winning ways last time out, recording a 3-0 success over Cadiz.

The Red and Whites finished eighth in La Liga last season but will have their eyes on a potential return to European football for the 2024-25 campaign.

In brothers Inaki Williams and Nico Williams, Athletic have two of the most dynamic forwards in the league, but Gorka Guruzeta has been the main source of goals early this season, netting three times in five outings.

Alaves La Liga form:

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:

We say: Alaves 1-1 Athletic Bilbao
Alaves have been strong at home this season, and they are capable of making this a tricky match for Athletic. It would certainly not be a surprise to see an away win, but we just have a feeling that the points will be shared in this all-Basque clash.

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