La Liga Match Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs. Almeria

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Updated: January 6, 2014
Athletic Bilbao

Match Date:  11 January 2014 (local)

Match Venue: San Mamés

 

Athletic Bilbao

The Basque derby was a resounding failure for Athletic Bilbao. They were rendered goal-less after arch-rivals Real Sociedad trounced them on a 2-0 finish at Anoeta. This marks the side’s fifth defeat this season. But despite this, Los Leones still managed to remain at number four, thanks to the very solid performances they displayed in their previous meetings.

 

Real Sociedad edged their way past Athletic Bilbao with a goal at the end of either half, cutting the gap between them to just one point. Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring in the first half for Real Sociedad and although Ernesto Valverde’s squad had the advantage for having more possession than their rivals, they failed to execute conversion to equalize. In injury time, Ruben Pardo sealed the points via counter-attack.

 

Almeria

Cruising their way through the league’s less dangerous spots, Almeria earned all the points in their fixture with Granada at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos. It was their second conquest in a row and guaranteed a blissful return from the winter break as they moved four points clear of Osasuna.

 

Unbeaten in their last five matches, the Andalusians are solidifying their bid to completely veer away from the relegation zone—which was their home for 10 non-consecutive La Liga weeks. In their last two fixtures alone, the team bagged back-to-back clean sheets from their nemeses: one goal from Real Betis and three from Granada.

 

Football betting tip: Athletic Bilbao will be Almeria’s first “true” challenge since their pleasant streak began giving them hope in the Spanish top-tier football. While scoring goals should not be ruled out of the possibilities, a win is still a long shot. A stalemate, however, can be obtained from this match.

 

Athletic Bilbao | Image source: eurosport.yahoo.com