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[Spanish La Liga] RCD Espanyol VS Athletic Bilbao 15.1 [Copy Link]

1#
Espanyol: Quique Sanchez Flores is on its way to the exit ( Recent Form: D W L W W )
The current fourteenth place is not what the ambitious Espanyol had in mind, but the Catalans have taken the road up the last few weeks. Recently, La Liga won from Atletico Madrid (1-0) and Malaga (0-1) and earlier this week they secured their place in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey by passing over two duels with a 3-2 score with Levante. Upcoming Wednesday night, Los Pericos will face the no match in the Spanish Cup Tournament against FC Barcelona. Trainer Quique Sanchez Flores is doing very well in the RCDE Stadium in the last few weeks, although it is likely that he will soon be packing his suitcases. He has the chance to follow the recently dismissed Mark Hughes at Stoke City. Quique Sanchez Flores was previously employed at Watford and has ears to return to the English Premier League. Athletic Bilbao home could therefore be his last match as coach of Espanyol. A possible departure from Sanchez Flores would be a considerable loss, although the board is not worried: "No one is bigger than the club." The players obviously hope that he will stay. "We are going through the fire for Sanchez Flores," said midfielder Esteban Granero. Hopefully the players will not let themselves be fooled by all the noise around their coach. With sixteen points from nine home games, Espanyol is one of the better home teams of La Liga this season. The mutual results also give confidence, because the blues are unbeaten in the home against Athletic Bilbao since the 1997-1998 season. The home team tired with defender David Lopez and midfielder Javi Fuego do miss two important forces. The duo has been suspended this weekend.

Athletic Bilbao: Aduriz writes history ( Recent Form: W W D W W )
Athletic Bilbao coach Kuko Ziganda was on the shovel for some time this season, but after a series of seven league games without defeat he is now a bit sturdier in the saddle at the San Mames. The Basques won home last weekend with 2-0 from local player Alaves and have the Spanish subtop in their sights. "The elimination in the Copa del Rey in November last year against third-divisioner Formentera was our absolute low," said striker Markel Susaeta. 'From that moment on, everyone realized that it was no longer possible and we have improved our game.' In terms of results, Athletic Bilbao did indeed fine in the last few weeks, but I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about the field game as Susaeta. Los Leones have a poignant lack of scoring ability and are far too dependent on attack leader Aritz Aduriz. The striker used a penalty kick against Alaves last weekend and came on a level with greats like Raul Gonzalez and Lionel Messi, who also scored against 35 different Spanish clubs. Aduriz is a living legend in Bilbao with 160 goals in 348 games, but of course it is significant if your team is almost completely dependent on the ins and outs of a 36-year-old attacker. The Basques also have problems in the rear as both goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, left back Mikel Balenziaga and right back Oscar de Marcos are in the rags basket. Iago Herrerin, Enric Saborit and Inigo Lekue will replace them.

THE BETTING VERDICT:
After all, like the bookmakers, I do not see a strong favorite here. Since both Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao do not have a lot of upside-downs but also score a little, a bet like Under 2.5 goals is obvious, but this odd is far too low for me. I therefore prefer a draw. Results like 0-0 or 1-1 would not surprise me.

RCD Espanyol  VS  Athletic Bilbao

O/U Pick: Under 2.25 @ 1.80.
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2#

SPA D1    00:30    FT    RCD Espanyol    1 - 1    Athletic Bilbao
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