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- Valencia and Athletic Bilbao are both desperate for three points to stay in the race for a Europa League berth
- Following a pair of demoralizing road losses, Valencia looks to spark their offense against a surging Bilbao squad
- Read on for all the odds and trends ahead of Wednesday afternoon’s La Liga matchup
Two clubs desperate for points to remain in the hunt for a spot in next season’s UEFA Europa League clash on Wednesday, as Valencia CF host Athletic Club Bilbao as narrow +150 favorites in the La Liga Round 33 odds.
Valencia CF vs Athletic Club Bilbao Odds
|Valencia CF||0.0, -0.5 (+110)||+150||O 2.0 (-120)|
|Athletic Club Bilbao||0.0, +0.5 (-140)||+210||U 2.0 (+100)|
Odds taken on June 30th
Valencia Offense Missing in Action
Valencia return home following Wednesday afternoon’s matchup at Estadio de Mestalla after suffering back-to-back clean sheet losses on the road that cost manager Albert Celades his job, and leave the club lagging five points adrift of surging Villarreal in the race for sixth place on the La Liga table.
Valencia have confirmed that Albert Celades has been relieved of his managerial duties.
Record (all comps):
Voro will take charge temporarily, Valencia’s 3rd coach of the season.#LLL
— La Liga Lowdown ???⚽️ (@LaLigaLowdown) June 29, 2020
Overall, the VCF have struggled badly since early February, posting wins in just two of 13 matches across all competitions, and have endured steadily increasing offensive woes during their slide. After averaging over a goal per match during the first eight dates on their current slide, Valencia have been held off the scoresheet in three of their past five contests.
The club has enjoyed far better production on home turf, where they have scored two goals per match during a respectable 2-2-1 run in all competitions.
VCF Dominant on Home Turf
Indeed, the VCF have been unbeatable at home in league play this season, compiling a 9-7-0 win-draw-loss record, and have suffered just two home losses in league play since the beginning of last season. That run features a decisive 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in their most recent visit, back in March 2019, and that sort of stingy defense has also been evident in recent home matches.
Here’s how the table looks ahead of #BarçaAtleti tomorrow… ?#LaLigaSantander pic.twitter.com/DrG1xKxvnW
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) June 29, 2020
The club has given up just four total goals while posting wins in five of seven home matches, highlighted by a stunning 2-0 victory over FC Barcelona on January 25. But with goals coming at a premium for the VCF, will their stingy defense be enough against a Bilbao squad that has turned in steady performances since La Liga action resumed in mid-June?
Valencia CF vs Athletic Club Bilbao Stats
|8th (46 points)||Standing in La Liga||9th (45 points)|
|1.28||Goals per game||1.13|
|1.44||Goals against per game||0.88|
|1-1-3||W-D-L record in past five La Liga matches||2-2-1|
ATH Making Gains Since Season Resumed
Listed as attractive +210 road underdogs in Wednesday’s contest, Athletic Club have steadily gained ground since shaking off a demoralizing 10-match winless streak in league play earlier this season.
After recording a 3-1 win over visiting Mallorca this past weekend, the Lions now sport a 4-2-1 record over their past seven league matches to pull to within one point of Valencia. The club has also potted 11 total goals over their past six matches, highlighted by a lopsided 4-1 win when they visited Real Valladolid in early March.
In addition, the ATH have also emerged as a defensive force, surrendering more than a single goal just once over their past seven contests, and now trail only Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid with just 28 total goals allowed through their first 28 matches. However, Athletic Club have work to do to overcome a lengthy stretch of futility against the VCF. The club is winless in each of its past six league dates with the VCF, including losses in three straight visits to Valencia, in which they were outscored by a wide 6-1 overall margin.
But with the Lions on a roll, and Valencia struggling to maintain any sort of momentum since returning to action earlier this month, Athletic Club are poised to rewrite that losing narrative by handing Valencia their first home defeat of the season, and their first clean-sheet home loss since April of last year.
Picks: Athletic Bilbao (+210); Athletic Bilbao to record a shutout win (+350)