Athletic Bilbao vs. Alaves / La Liga – This could be an interesting duel, considering that it is a neighbourly derby, and is known that Athletic is very good at home and they rarely lose the matches there, but Alaves is also in great shape and this team has a series of seven matches without defeat, with the proviso that they celebrated twice and played two draws in the Cup. Athletic has a series of three wins, two in the Cup, but the last victory over Barcelona, has a special value. On the table Athletic has five points more than Alaves, and their last mutual duels were played before more than a decade ago in La Liga, when Alaves celebrated in Bilbao with 2-0, while it was 0-0 in Vitoria. Begins: 08.01.2017. – 12:00 CET
Athletic welcomed the end of the last calendar year in the rhythm of home wins, and defeats away from home, while they stated a new year with a victory at home. It took place in the Cup and to no less than against Barcelona, but at the end it was 2-1 and they will have a difficult task at Nou Camp. They played furiously in the first half and managed to score two goals, but they did not endure in the second halftime. However, they have received only one goal, although they were in the finish left without two players on the field. And it will be a problem for a rematch, because they Iturraspe and Raul Garcia are suspended, who will not be able to play.
In the last championship round, they managed to defeat Celta ina crazy final, when they after a crazy turnover scored a goal for 2-1, even though they were without some important players in the composition, such as center-back Laporte. Marcos is still injured, while Yeray is still ill, so we expect Iker Muniain in the starting lineup now, who started a match against Barcelona on the bench. The aforementioned suspended players are allowed to compete in the championship, but Benat could still get an advantage over Iturraspe. Arrizabalaga will probably return to the goal instead of Iraizoz.
Probable lineups Athletic Bilbao: Arrizabalaga – Boveda, Etxeita, Laporte, Balenziaga – San Jose, Benat – Williams, Raul Garcia, Iker Muniain – Aduriz
Alaves is now doing well, although this team was ranked in the group of those that will be frantically fighting for survival. Now they have beautiful nine points over the relegation zone and what is even better, they are lately playing great and that will surely leave them away from relegation danger. Counting only the championship, they have not lost for four rounds and it all started with a brilliant away win against Villarreal. After that, they played two draws and then again lost, this time at home against Betis with 1-0. They are also excellent in the Cup and they first eliminated Gimnastic with two wins, while they a few days ago at Riazor played 2-2 with Deportivo, which opened the door for the quarter-finals, considering that they will play a rematch at home.
They can even regret that they have not resolved everything in the first match because they had a lead of 2-0. Coach Pellegrino has changed goalkeeper in the Cup, and left completely the same defence as against Betis, while midfield and attack were quite changed. Now there will again be refreshments in the team and it would be especially interesting to see whether they will play with a handful of former players from Athletic, who are now in the ranks of Alaves, while left back Hernandez will certainly not play.
Probable lineups Alaves: Pacheco – Femenia, Feddal, Alexis, Laguardia, Raul Garcia – Camarasa, Manu Garcia, M.Llorente – Toquero, Deyverson
Athletic Bilbao vs. Alaves PICK
Athletic players are certainly tired after tough matches in the Cup and they did not have too much time to rest, but the guests they are welcoming their Basque rival Alaves, which is in a very good shape and they especially know how to set defensively, which a small number of goals in their matches shows. Therefore, we do not expect a lot of goals in this match.
Pick: under 2.5 goals
Odds: 1.73 at betvictor (down to 1.63 can be played)