Preview: Girona vs. Athletic Bilbao 

Preview: Girona vs. Athletic Bilbao 

Girona will be bidding to record their 12th victory of what has been an incredible 2023-24 La Liga campaign to date when they take on Athletic Bilbao in a mouthwatering contest on Monday night.

The home side are top of the table as things stand, picking up 34 points from their opening 13 matches, while Athletic sit in fifth position, boasting 24 points from their first 13 games in a strong start.

Even the most ardent of Girona supporters would not have been able to predict their team’s incredible start to the season, with a record of 11 wins, one draw and one defeat from 13 matches leaving them top of the table on 34 points.

Michel’s side are two points ahead of second-placed Real Madrid, but Los Blancos will face Cadiz on Sunday, so there is a chance that Girona could be in second by the time that this match kicks off, while they are four clear of third-placed Barcelona ahead of the Catalan side’s clash with Rayo Vallecano.

Girona have conceded the most goals in the top four – shipping 16 – but they are the highest scorers, finding the back of the net on 31 occasions, which is three more than Real Madrid and five more than Barcelona.

The White and Reds are only in their fourth-ever season in La Liga, which makes their form even more remarkable, with their joint-best placing coming last term, when they finished in 10th position.

Girona are on a run of six straight wins in all competitions, including their last five in La Liga, beating Rayo Vallecano 2-1 in their last fixture before the international break.

Athletic’s start to the season has not been as impressive in terms of numbers, but the Basque side will still be pleased with their opening to the campaign, boasting a record of seven wins, three draws and three losses from their 13 matches to collect 24 points, which has left them in fifth position.

Ernesto Valverde’s side could drop down the table by the time that this match kicks off, but they will enter the match in strong form, winning their last three fixtures in all competitions.

The Lions progressed in the Copa del Rey courtesy of a 2-1 success over Rubi at the start of the month, while they have won their last two in the league, beating Villarreal 3-2 and Celta Vigo 4-3 in two excellent games.

Athletic have finished eighth in their last two La Liga campaigns but will certainly have their eyes on a European spot this term, and this will be a good test of their credentials, as Girona have been the best team in Spain’s top flight so far this season.

The Red and Whites lost both league matches with Girona last season, including a 2-1 defeat in the corresponding match, with their last top-flight success over the Catalan side coming in March 2019.

Girona La Liga form:

Girona form (all competitions):

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:

Athletic Bilbao form (all competitions):

We say: Girona 1-1 Athletic Bilbao
Girona’s winning run will come to an end at some point, and Athletic have enough quality to triumph on Monday. It is so difficult to back the hosts to lose at the moment, but we are expecting the points to be shared here, as Athletic have also been one of the most impressive sides in the division this term.

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