Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Athletic Bilbao vs Sporting Gijon Club Friendly Match Preview And Prediction - July 27, 2016

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Athletic Bilbao finished 5th in La Liga last season, just 2 points behind Villarreal and 4th placed UEFA Champions League playoff round qualification. Instead, their summer preparations focus towards the UEFA Europa League alongside another season in the top flight. For the 2016/2017 campaign, Athletic Bilbao head straight into the group stages, an improvement on the qualifying rounds they would have been playing 12 months earlier. Bilbao also managed to win their first piece of silverware since the early 1980’s – an aggregate win of 5-1 against Barcelona was enough to take the Spanish Super Cup back to Basque.

Sporting Gijon, contrastingly, narrowly avoided relegation last season, finishing just 1 point above 18th placed Rayo Vallecano and the relegation zone. Despite finishing the La Liga season strong, with 2 wins and 2 draws from their last 4 league matches, Gijon have been unimpressive and failed to score in both of their defeats against 2 Portugese Primeira Liga sides in preseason friendlies so far. Sport Gijon have a host of squad changes from summer transfers, most notably signing ex-Athletic Bilbao defender Fernando Amorebieta from Fulham.

Athletic Bilbao’s “Basque only” policy means the summer transfer window is not usually an eventful affair. Bilbao tends to have much more consistency in their squad than other La Liga teams, so there won’t be too many surprises here. While this pre-season match is likely to feature a mix of experienced and less experienced players, with up to 11 substitutions from each side, Athletic Bilbao have certainly got the better squad depth. Athletic scored the most goals in the La Liga outside of the ‘big 3’ and Sporting Gijon are goalless so far this summer.

Combining this analysis with the statistic below, we expect Athletic Bilbao to win at 8/11 to be a safe bet and Athletic Bilbao to win 2-0 at 8/1 with bet365 to be a top value correct score bet for this match.

Athletic Bilbao are unbeaten against Sporting Gijon in 7 consecutive meetings between the two sides, winning 3 and drawing 4. Athletic won 2-0 away to Gijon most recently.

Athletic Club Bilbao have won to nil in all of their last 3 wins against Sporting Gijon. Athletic Club have drawn both of their pre-season friendlies so far (one 1-1 and one 2-2) and Sporting Gijon have lost 2 and drawn one of their 3. Sporting Gijon have failed to score in their last 2 consecutive matches.

Athletic Club are yet to make any big name transfers over the summer break and are likely to name a similar side to that of their 2-2 draw away to French side Bordeaux last weekend.

Sporting Gijon have signed ex-Athletic Bilbao defender Fernando Amorebieta from Fulham, who has also had loan spells at Middlesborough over the past two season.

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