Villarreal vs. Athletic Bilbao / La Liga – This duel can be called a small derby but only by the names of the teams, or because both teams played this European league this season. In that competition they were eliminated earlier than they expected, especially Villarreal, who dropped out in the sixteenth of the finals. Athletic was eliminated in the round of sixteen and it is interesting that French teams were both teams were fatal. Villarreal is incomparably better in the championship, which has 11 points more and they are in the position that leads again to Europa league, while it is quite certain that the Basques will not be seen in Europe next season. In the first mutual duel it was 1-1. Begins: 09.04.2018. – 21:00 CET
Villarreal is holding on to the positions that lead them to Europa League, however, it is far from what is expected from this team. They may even get in the fight for the fourth place and the Champions League, or at least to be close, and not even 15 points below, as is the case now.
It remains for them to defend their fifth or sixth position, and this will also be a tough task, because there are several candidates, and Villarreal seems to be helping them, given that they in the last round lost to the last-ranked Malaga with 1-0. They recently lost from Eibar, and Girona on home field, which is a very bad defeat, but that is why Atletico was defeated in the pre-season. Rodri and Samson were refreshments for Malaga and it turned out very badly. Now Trigueros jumps in instead of Castillejo.
Probable lineups Villarreal: Asenjo – Mario, Bonera, A.Gonzalez, J.Costa – Rodri, Trigueros, Fornals, R.Soriano – N.Sansone, Bacca
This season has lost sense for Athletic, because it became clear that it would be a complete failure. None of the three competitions that they have played will leave a deeper trace and they can now begin to think about what to change, to make the next season more successful. In the Cup they were eliminated in the sixteenth finals and somehow it seemed they had some ambitions in Europa League to do something, however, they met with Olympique Marseille in the round of sixteen, which defeated them on both occasions.
Their victories are very rare lately, and they had one series of six rounds without triumph, while they celebrated twice in the previous six, but against Malaga and Leganes at home. And in the last round they were close to a victory over Celta, as they had the lead of 1-0, while they in the injury time received a goal for 1-1. Previously they were expectedly defeated with 2-0 at Nou Camp and coach Ziganda has changed the team, in which their top scorer Aduriz is two rounds on the reserve bench. He could now also be there, while Benat is returning to the midfield.
Probable lineups Athletic Bilbao: Arrizabalaga – de Marcos, Nunez, I.Martinez, Balenziaga – San Jose, Benat – M.Susaeta, Raul Garcia, Cordoba – Williams
Villarreal vs. Athletic Bilbao PICK
Villarreal is still fighting for Europa League and the points are very much needed, while Athletic is completely unmotivated and this is seen in the results of this team, which is why we anticipate a new guest defeat.
Pick: Villarreal wins
Odds: 1.85 at williamhill (down to 1.75 can be played)