Athletic Bilbao vs Espanyol Match Analysis & Prediction
18/01/2023 10:00 pm
With a place in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals at stake, Athletic Bilbao and La Liga strugglers meet at San Mames on Wednesday.
Following a bitter Basque derby defeat, Athletic are aiming to progress in the cup – which they have won 23 times but not since 1984 – while the visitors enjoyed a rare away victory last weekend.
As a result of their 3-1 defeat to Real Sociedad in San Sebastian, Athletic slipped down to eighth in La Liga, although they are still just two points adrift of a top-four spot.
Now set for a quick return to action in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey, Yeray Alvarez’s side must put their derby disappointment behind them and seek another cup win.
Since returning from the World Cup break, Athletic’c only victories have come in Spain’s premier knockout competition, by the way of eliminating lower-tier teams Sestao and Eldense in the previous round, with two goalless draws and a defeat coming in the league.
Having last lifted the Copa del Rey back in 2006, Espanyol may hope a recent upturn in form carries them through to May’s final in Seville, despite the difficulty of their last-16 draw.
Espanyol extended their unbeaten run across all competitions to six matches when they claimed a 2-1 away victory over Getafe, which lifted them out of the relegation zone and as high as 14th in La Liga.
Espanyol have beaten Rincon, Atletico Paso and then Celta Vigo to reach this stage – the latter was the only all-La-Liga tie of the third round – in which Javi Puado equalised just after the break to force the game into extra time, where Espanyol scored twice through Sergi Darder and Nico Melamed.
Athletic Bilbao vs. Espanyol Head to head
In the previous 59 meetings between these two teams across all competitions, Athletic Bilbao have claimed 16 victories while Espanyol have won 23, and they have drawn in 20. Espanyol have scored 80 goals and conceded 70 in the process.
30/10/2019Athletic Bilbao3Espanyol0La Liga
25/01/2020Espanyol1Athletic Bilbao1La Liga
26/10/2021Espanyol1Athletic Bilbao1La Liga
07/02/2022Athletic Bilbao2Espanyol1La Liga
04/09/2022Athletic Bilbao0Espanyol1La Liga
Athletic Bilbao Team News
Athletic Bilbao’s Inigo Martinez remains a doubt for this game due to a foot injury which ruled the defender out of the Basque derby.
Yeray Alvarez may feature in the back four as he awaits news of his appeal against Saturday’s red card. Any suspension would start with Athletic’s La Liga game against Real Madrid.
Athletic Bilbao's Last 5 Matches
20/12/2022Sestao River0Athletic Bilbao1Copa del Rey
29/12/2022Real Betis0Athletic Bilbao0La Liga
05/01/2023Eldense1Athletic Bilbao6Copa del Rey
09/01/2023Athletic Bilbao0Osasuna0La Liga
14/01/2023Real Sociedad3Athletic Bilbao1La Liga
Espanyol Team News
Espanyol have Keidi Bare, Adria Pedrosa and Pol Lozano on the sidelines due to injury, but left-back Brian Olivan returns from a ban that kept him out of contention on Sunday.
Goalkeeper Joan Garcia and midfielder Edu Exposito are set to be awarded starts by Diego Martinez who could make several changes as he prioritises the upcoming league match against Real Betis.
Espanyol's Last 5 Matches
21/12/2022Atletico Paso0Espanyol1Copa del Rey
03/01/2023Espanyol(E)3Celta Vigo1Copa del Rey
Athletic Bilbao vs. Espanyol: Odds and Predictions
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