La Liga Match Preview: Osasuna vs. Athletic Bilbao

By
Updated: January 23, 2014
Osasuna

Match Date: 26 January 2004 (local)

Match Venue: Estadio El Sadar

 

Osasuna

Los Rojillos extended their undefeated run in La Liga to five matches with a zero-goal stalemate at Granada. They were at the brink of falling back into the relegation zone but triumphs over Espanyol and Real Betis in their last two matches, alongside previous draws with Real Madrid and Celta Vigo, have put their worries at bay. The point they shipped from their latest draw was vital to keeping them safe and sound. They are now at the table’s 13th spot.

 

Since Javi Gracia became the man at the helm, Osasuna have already collected 22 points from 17 matches, of which six were victories and four were draws. These made the coach the ideal antidote to the lethal underperformance of previous manager, José Luis Mendilibar. While inconsistency is still an issue for the side, their recent showings have at least hinted them that they have a very good chance at stretching their stay in the Spanish top-tier football.

 

Athletic Bilbao

A magnificent display of goalkeeping by Gorka Iraizoz as well as an agile set of strikes from Ibai Gómez, Óscar de Marcos, and Ander Herrera ensured that Athletic Bilbao will carry the day, thrashing Real Valladolid 4-2 in their brawl at San Mamés Barria. The victory would be the side’s 12th this season and the goals they scored increased their goal difference to 10. However, they remain unmoved at number four in the league rankings.

 

Los Leones show aggressiveness when it comes to attacking set pieces. This trait, along with their remarkable skills in aerial duels, will be their key to staying a major threat to other league clubs. When they create chances, they also make sure that all of those will be deservedly converted.

 

Sports betting tip: Based on overall form, Athletic Bilbao are the obvious favorites over Osasuna. However, the latter’s insightful faculties have led them to make some surprises in the most unexpected circumstances, such as drawing with powerhouse Real Madrid and earning a victory via clean sheet from Espanyol. For this battle, expect a good exchange of exploits between the sides. A draw is a possible finish.

 

Osasuna | Image source:  marca.com