A jubilant Athletic Bilbao side will take on Getafe at San Mamés in La Liga on Monday, 25 January 2021.
This will be their second encounter during the 2020-21 campaign, with both sides sharing the spoils at Estadio Coliseum Alfonso Pérez on 29 November, when Asier Villalibre’s first-half header gave Athletic Bilbao an early lead, yet Angel Rodríguez’s second-half strike cancelled out their celebrations.
All in all, after an impressive run of six successive wins over Getafe between October 2013 and January 2016, Athletic Bilbao are now winless in seven games against the same side, losing just two of them though (0-5-2).
Athletic Bilbao Betting Preview
The Basques are enjoying their 90th consecutive season in the top flight of Spanish football and even though they currently sit 13th in the table, just four points clear of the relegation zone (18th-placed Elche), they cannot complain by the lack of silverware.
Los Leones should be brimming with confidence as their life under new head coach Marcelino García Toral started in a promising way. Indeed, Athletic Bilbao have recently earned the 2020-21 Supercopa de España (Spanish Super Cup) trophy and they did it in a remarkable fashion – by beating both Real Madrid and Barcelona en route to the final victory.
Marcelino García Toral’s men head into the weekend after a hard-fought comeback 2-1 win at Ibiza on Thursday – a team ranked in Segunda División B (third tier of Spanish football) – when defender Unai Núñez scored a late winner to send Athletic Bilbao through to the Round of 16.
When it comes to their form in La Liga, though, Athletic Bilbao are consistent in being inconsistent – alternating all sorts of results and still failing to deliver two wins in a row. This eventually led to Gaizka Garitano’s dismissal on 3 January, some days after the 1-0 home defeat to local rivals Real Sociedad, even though the Basques claimed a 1-0 victory over Elche on the same day.
Garitano led the Basques to last year’s Copa del Rey final against arch rivals Real Sociedad, which was postponed due to the coronavirus situation, but he was under pressure for some time and it seems that the decision to appoint a more experienced figure to stabilize the famous Basque club is already paying off.
Athletic Bilbao have the second worst away record in La Liga and they’re once again reliant on their home form, picking up 15 of their 21 points at San Mames (5-0-4).
Anyway, Los Leones (The Lions) have finally shown their teeth as they have scored 9 goals in their four matches under Marcelino – one more than they managed in the last 8 games under Gaizka Garitano – 8. And remarkably, three of those games were against either Barcelona or Real Madrid, so Bilbao’s attacking progress needs to be considered here.
Marcelino opted for a 4-4-2 formation in most of his games so far and he’ll probably stick with the same system against José Bordalás on Monday.
Raúl García was once again on the scoresheet as the veteran-forward opened the score at Ibiza and he also scored a brace for the victory against Real Madrid 10 days ago. However, García could remain on the bench against Getafe and Asier Villalibre could get the nod instead, while the former’s experience would be more helpful late in the game, particularly if things are not going smoothly for the Basques.
Skipper Iker Muniain is another player who seems to be improving his form since the turn of the year and will be keen to inspire another efficient performance here.
Experienced Spain international Inigo Martinez is carrying a minor injury but should be fine to start at the heart of Athletic Club’s back line, yet the midweek hero Unai Núñez is fit to deputize if necessary.
Getafe Betting Preview
Getafe will be looking to win three consecutive games for the first time since twelve months, when they won four in a row between 17 January and 8 February 2020.
Since their defeat to Cordoba in the second round of the Copa del Rey on 5 January, José Bordalás’ men have finally won back-to-back games in La Liga as Getafe will now seek inspiration and challenge the new Spanish Super Cup holders on the back of their victories against Elche and Huesca.
Furthermore, Getafe have won two of their last three away games in La Liga – scoring five of their seven away goals this season in them – and have only lost 1-0 to league leaders Atletico Madrid in the process.
Their current run of form moved them to 11th in La Liga, just three points behind Betis in eighth, and they also have a game in hand, so Getafe have an opportunity to climb to the top half of the table should they leave San Mamés with a point or more.
Since his appointment in September 2016, José Bordalás first managed to regain Getafe’s top-flight status in 2017, and then transformed them into a very solid side that finished within the top eight in each of the following (three) La Liga seasons.
The icing on the cake of Getafe’s progress under José Bordalás was their fifth-place finish in 2018-19 which also secured them European football (in the UEFA Europa League) for the first time since 2010-11.
Are they ready to open a new chapter? There are some encouraging signs, indeed, but the upcoming visit of Athletic Bilbao would be a stern test of their ability.
Central defender Erick Cabaco and left-back Mathias Olivera are both injury doubts for Getafe, so former Athletic Bilbao centre-back Xabier Etxeita and Cameroonian full-back Allan Nyom (who have both started against Elche) are once again on standby.
Mauro Arambarri, who scored the winner last time out, has been passed fit after an adductor problem and the Uruguay midfielder is ready to start alongside Nemanja Maksimovic in the middle of the park.
January signing Takefusa Kubo should remain at the right flank of Getafe’s midfield, as well as fellow winter signing and Barcelona loanee Carles Aleñá, who should operate behind the striker.
Up front, Getafe’s top goalscorer Ángel Rodríguez (five goals in 17 La Liga appearances this season, starting just seven of them though) should get the nod over Jaime Mata (3 goals in 16 La Liga appearances, starting 11 of them), who started against Huesca last time out.
Possible Starting Lineups of Athletic Bilbao and Getafe
Athletic Bilbao: Unai Simón – Yuri Berchiche, Iñigo Martínez, Yeray Álvarez, Ander Capa – Iker Muniain, Dani Garcia, Unai Vencedor, Óscar de Marcos – Asier Villalibre, Iñaki Williams. (4-4-2)
Getafe: Rubén Yáñez – Damián Suárez, Xabi Etxeita, Djené Dakonam, Allan Nyom – Takefusa Kubo, Mauro Arambarri, Nemanja Maksimovic, Marc Cucurella – Carles Aleñá – Ángel Rodríguez. (4-4-1-1)
Spooky Express Betting Prediction
Having won four of their last five games across all domestic competitions (including a 3-2 extra-time victory over Barcelona in the Super Cup Final), Athletic Bilbao are now favored to build on their momentum and return to winning ways in La Liga with odds of +128 @ BetOnline, whereas you can get odds of +255 on Getafe to claim their third consecutive victory. Meanwhile, another draw (five of their last seven meetings have ended in a draw) can be backed at odds of +195.
It seems that the bookies expect another low-scoring affair between these two sides as there were Under 2.5 Goals scored in seven of their last 8 La Liga meetings, yet considering the impact of Getafe’s winter signings and the encouraging efforts of the home side, we believe that both teams should be capable of scoring and this should be enough to cover the chosen market.
Spooky Express Free Play: Over 1½, 2 (1.75) Goals -114 @ BetOnline for 6/10 Units