Levante v Athletic Bilbao – Estadi Ciutat de València at 20:00 live at Eleven Sports
Levante twice came back from losing positions to pinch a well-earned point at rock-bottom Huesca last weekend. Roger Marti and Emmanuel Boateng notched to give Los Granotas a share of the spoils in a match where they were missing instrumental forward Jose Luis Morales and key midfield man Jose Campana.
The pair will return to the fold for Paco Lopez on Monday night as Levante look to cement their position in the top-half of the La Liga standings. Los Granotas have lost just once in their most recent seven (W4-D2-L1) league fixtures since late September and deservedly toppled Real Madrid in the Bernebeu.
The hosts have been particularly impressive in the final-third. Indeed, Levante have scored in all bar one of their 13 outings, notching at least twice in four of their six matches at their Ciutat de Valencia base. In fact, in Paco Lopez’s 24 games as boss, Los Granotas have notched twice or more on 14 (58%) occasions.
Levante underrated on Monday night
That swashbuckling attacking approach should put Athletic Bilbao under serious pressure on Monday night, so much so that Levante are well worth supporting at 1.74 with a +0.25 Asian Handicap start. We’ll enjoy a half-stakes profit should the match end all-square and a full-stakes profit should the home side win.
If Levante are excelling offensively, Athletic Bilbao are struggling defensively. The Basque giants have only once silenced their opposition this season since head coach Eduardo Berizzo arrived and Les Leones find themselves in unchartered territory at the wrong end of the standings after 13 games.
Athletic easily opposed
The visitors were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Getafe last weekend having suffered a gut-wrenching last-minute 3-2 loss to Atletico Madrid in their match just before the international break. Athletic are now rooted inside the bottom-three with Berizzo – who only arrived in the summer–under serious pressure.
The Basques have bagged a solitary La Liga success under his tutorship – and that arrived on the opening weekend of the campaign – as they’ve played out eight draws in their 13 encounters. Les Leones are also toiling in attack, grabbing more than a solitary strike themselves on only four occasions.
Since the start of last season, the visitors have tabled four triumphs in 25 games as guests (W4-D9-L12), only twice keeping their sheets clean. Levante are unlikely to be passive here and their ability to get on the scoresheet should ensure they avoid defeat in Monday night’s meeting.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Levante +0.25 at 1.630
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.
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