Bilbao have kicked up a gear in recent weeks and will be looking to continue their strong run of form against a struggling Levante side and possibly move level with the top six on points.
Every point matters
Things have got extremely tight in the top six race in La Liga and it’s panning out to be an enthralling final nine games. From Getafe in fourth, there is just a six point gap down to Real Betis in ninth. Bilbao are level with Betis on 40 points; Valencia and Sevilla are just three points ahead and are currently neck and neck for sixth position. Bilbao have timed their run of form perfectly and have broken from a deeper position in the table to take advantage of some poor runs of form above them. Los Leones have won four of their last six games, losing just one in that period. A lot of this is credited to their rock solid defence; they’ve conceded only seven goals in their last 10 La Liga outings with five of them ending with a clean sheet for the Rojiblancos and allowing them to secure three points in some very tight games.
That strong defence is also boosted by the return of Yeray who should start at centre back with Mikel San Jose and Benat expected to anchor the midfield in the absence of Dani Garcia. They haven’t been prolific in their recent run but with Inaki Williams, Susaeta and Iker Muniain they carry a real threat going forward and should cause Levante a lot of problems.
The solid defence but low scoring has led to under 2.5 goals in every single one of Bilbao’s last 10 home games. You can back this selection at 1.85 which looks like great value.
The hosts are understandably the favourites to win the game at a price of 1.53.
Levante far from safe
Granotas lie in 15th place in the table and are only separated from the relegation zone by four points. Their issue has been their desperate defensive record, which has seen them concede 51 goals in their 29 games so far this campaign; only Rayo Vallecano on 52 have conceded more goals than Wednesday’s visitors.
However they have had no problem scoring goals, in fact, only Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona have scored more goals this season and they trail Atleti in that category by just three goals. They’ve been on a torrid run but have managed to average a goal a game over their last 12 matches, however their fans have only seen two wins in that period. These stats see Levante as the outsiders for a win at 5.5.
With Marti and Morales leading the line the visitors do have a potent combination. The pair have netted a combined 19 goals in La Liga this season and they’ll need to be at their best to break down the stubborn Bilbao defence. Marti is the shortest odds for a Levante scorer at 4.2 anytime, he’ll most likely be their furthest man forward at all times.
With their excellent goal output this season; the visitors may be the ideal candidates to break through the lines, you can back them to get at least one goal in the match at 1.62.
Tight and tetchy
In all honesty I can see this being a rather dull affair. Bilbao are solid and stable at the moment but don’t average themselves a lot of goals. Getafe do average a solid number of goals, however in their current poor run they’ll be aiming to not get beat in this game as to avoid slipping down the table. A point for the visitors would be a positive result so I imagine they’ll be happy to sit deep and stifle the game, dropping to a flat five in midfield when they don’t have the ball in an attempt to stop the likes of Muniain and Susaeta getting on the ball and dictating play and also closing the space in behind to nullify the threat of Inaki Williams. I don’t think they can keep this up for a full 90 minutes, so I fancy a slender Bilbao win.
Bilbao to win and under 2.5 goals @ 3.5
Both teams to score – no @ 1.8
Bilbao to win 1-0 @ 6.0