Athletic Bilbao v Valencia – San Mames Stadium at 19:00 live on Sky Sports 5
Two of Spanish football’s form teams meet tonight in a crucial match for the visitors as they battle with Sevilla to claim the 4th and final Champions League spot this season. Asian Handicap punters will be looking forward to what should be a close and hard fought game in Bilbao this evening.
Bilbao had been on an excellent run of five wins in a row before the 2-0 defeat at Sevilla on Saturday, but there’s no shame in losing at Sevilla who remain unbeaten at home this season. This good form has seen Los Leones move up to 8th in the table and although they are unlikely to climb any higher, it is a credit to Ernesto Valverde and his squad that they are finishing the campaign so strongly despite having little more than personal pride to play for at this stage.
Valencia are having a fantastic first season under new manager Nuno Santo, who has guided them to within touching distance of a 3rd place finish and automatic qualification for the Champions League group stage. They have lost just 1 in 16 La Liga matches and travel to Bilbao on a run of six wins in their last eight games. They have a tough run of games especially away from home, to end their campaign but Nuno has them well drilled defensively which always gives them a chance to nick vital points on the road. Their total of 22 goals conceded so far, is a figure bettered only by league leaders Barcelona.
Recent games between these two have been tight with the last four ending with under 2.5 goals and we expect a similar encounter tonight. Bilbao only average 1.21 goals per game at home which has seen just 43% of matches at the San Mames end with over 2.5 goals.
Valencia do score slightly more goals away from home than Bilbao do at home, with an average of 1.50 goals on the road. But their rock solid defence only concedes at an average of 1 goal per away game, to leave them with just 50% of road games finishing with over 2.5 goals.
The bookies have priced this one up with these stats in mind, with Under 2.5 Goals at 1.73 and the main Asian Handicap line set at 0 (DNB) as a close match is expected and they look to have got the prices just about right.
Bilbao have been inconsistent at home against the top teams this year and with Valencia in such strong form we have to give them the slight advantage tonight. They will miss midfielder Daniel Parejo, who is out suspended but they still have enough to edge this game 1-0.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Valencia 0 (DNB) at 2.06
Prices correct at the time of writing.