Athletic Bilbao vs Deportivo Alavés Preview 01/10/2021
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Fresh from sealing their first La Liga win of the season, Deportivo Alaves travel to San Mames to face Athletic Bilbao on Friday night.
Having lost five of their opening six games, Alaves still find themselves second from bottom in the early standings.
— Athletic Club (@AthleticClub) September 28, 2021
Athletic Bilbao, meanwhile, sit comfortably in mid-table after recording two wins, four draws and only one defeat.
Marcelino’s men kicked off their campaign with a four-match unbeaten streak, drawing with Elche and Barcelona before beating Celta Vigo and Mallorca.
However, they suffered their first and only defeat of the season last week – going down to Ray Vallecano.
On Saturday, Athletic conceded a 95th-minute equaliser against Valencia and were ultimately forced to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Although they have only scored six goals in seven league outings this season, Athletic have conceded just four times. Only two sides in the division have a better defensive record.
On the flip side, Alaves suffered five straight defeats before finally picking up their first victory of the campaign on Sunday.
They lost to Real Madrid, Mallorca, Valencia, Osasuna and Espanyol before beating Atletico Madrid 1-0 last time out.
Having beaten the defending La Liga champions in the previous outing, Alaves will surely fancy their chances of causing Athletic some problems on Friday.
Alaves conceded 11 goals across their first five league games this term, conceding at a rate of 2.20 goals per game.
Of course, they wouldn’t have expected to keep a clean sheet against Atletico. But having done so, they can take huge confidence from their previous performance.
Head-to-head: Alaves were unbeaten against Athletic last season, picking up a 1-0 win at home before sealing a goalless draw at San Mames.
In fact, Athletic have only managed to win one of their previous seven La Liga meetings with Alaves – registering three draws and three losses in that time.
Team news: Athletic Bilbao currently have five players out injured, with Peru Nolaskoain, Yuri Berchiche, Yeray Alvarez, Oihan Sancet and Asier Villalibre on the sidelines.
On the other hand, Alaves have no fresh injury concerns. That means head coach Javier Calleja could stick with the same starting XI that beat Atletico last time out.
With the home crowd behind them, Athletic will be confident of claiming all three points and keeping Alaves in the bottom three on Friday.
PlusBet.net predicts that Athletic Bilbao will keep a clean sheet on their way to victory, moving from tenth to sixth in the table as a result.