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Spain La Liga Week 15 Athetic Bilbao vs Girona Preview 10 December 2018


Experienced Bettor
Dec 1, 2018
Athetic Bilbao vs Girona Preview:

Athetic Bilbao are in very complicated situation. The Basks are in the drop zone and they are deeply involved into relegation battle. Bilbao suffered a 3:0 defeat at Levante on Monday, continuing the misery. Athletic have just 11 points and occupy the 18th place. They haven't won since the opening day of the season. The atmosphere in the squad is bad, while the players confidence is low. The fans are frustrated and they are afraid of the worst - relegation. It's something like a catastrophe as Athletic are the only La Liga side besides giants Real Madrid and Barcelona never to be relegated from Spain's top flight. Head coach Eduardo Berizzo paid the prize for the poor results and he was sacked after eight months in charge. The Argentinian coach was named Athletic manager in May, having been sacked by Sevilla in December 2017 just a week after he returned from cancer surgery. The club officials decided youth team coach Gaizka Garitano to be named as Berizzo's replacement. Garitano has some La Liga experience - he took Eibar to Primera Division for the first time in their history in 2014, although he resigned after they were relegated in 2015, despite the club being reinstated following Elche's demotion. His career wasn't successful in the next period too. The 43-year-old tactician was sacked by Valladolid in 2015 and Deportivo La Coruna in 2017 before taking over Bilbao youth team. For this match he has lot of injury and suspension worries. Three players are banned and that's a huge handicap. Peru Nolaskoain received a straight red card against Levante, while Yuri Berchiche and Inigo Martinez have accumulated yellow cards. In addition, Cristian Ganea, Gorka Guruzeta, Mikel Balenziaga, Alex Remiro and Mikel Rico are struggling with injuries.

Girona play an excellent season. The majority of the pundits were expected to see them close to the relegation zone in this period, however they are sharing the sixth place with 21 points. Girona are unbeaten on the last six league matches, winning half of them and drawing on the remaining three. They beat Rayo Vallecano, Valencia and Espanyol, while shared the points with Real Sociedad, Leganes and Atletico Madrid. As You could see, two of those teams are the actual participants in the Champions League (Valencia and Atletico Madrid). What I want to say is that we have to respect the results. Earlier in the season they’ve played a 2:2 draw with Barcelona at Camp Nou. Girona’s unbeaten streak strongly suggests they are capable of getting something from this match. Coach Eusebio Sacristan is doing a great job and the fans are satisfied. Christian Stuani is the key name in the squad with his record of eleven goals in twelve appearances. Borja Garcia, Aday Benitez and Pedro Porro should also be mentioned as they produced the majority of the assists. Coach Eusebio has some injury worries ahead of this match (Johan Mojica, Aday Benitez and Carles Planas are struggling with injury), but it is clear his problems are not so big.

Athetic Bilbao vs Girona Prediction:

Girona have been impressive of late and are unbeaten in their last six matches in Primera, winning three of them. Athletic Bilbao are in poor form at the moment and they are without three suspended players - Peru Nolaskoain, Yuri Berchiche and Inigo Martinez. I think Girona are able to stay unbeaten at San Mames.

Athetic Bilbao vs Girona Pick: Girona +0.5 Asian Handicap (Odds 1.81)