Champions League Hopefuls Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal Lock HornsPublished February 6, 2016 by Florin P
Last chance for Athletic Bilbao to clinch Champions League spot (7:30 p.m UK Time).
The most exciting match of the weekend will be played between Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal, the two teams chasing a Champions League berth. The visitors are better positioned, but in this particular match, they are credited with the second chance by bookmakers. Home pitch advantage has been huge for both squads throughout the season, so apparently Athletic Bilbao has the upper hand in this fixture.
Busy Schedule for Athletic Bilbao
The hosts were unable to win back-to-back games in January and lost half of the games played in the first month of 2016. In their defense, the players can highlight the fact that they took on Barcelona on three occasions and lost twice in the Copa del Rey and once in the domestic championship. While there is very little they can do against the reigning champions, they should be able to fare better against Villarreal.
Except for the shocking defeat on the road at Granada, Athletic Bilbao generally dropped points only against top opponents such as Atletico Madrid and Sevilla. Injuries have played a major role in many of these failures, but the good news is that most of the footballers have returned to fitness.
Villarreal's Offensive Cools Down
Villarreal has been for nearly a month the most in-form team in the Spanish first division, but their engine is slowing down. Recent results were disappointing and the inability to win games both at home and on the road is threatening their bid for the Champions League.
This is a match of critical importance for both teams, but the difference is that Villarreal would gladly settle for one point on the road. Athletic Bilbao is a formidable opponent when it has home pitch advantage, but it would be a mistake to underestimate the visitors. Risk-averse punters will find great value in even odds offered by bet365 Sports on Villarreal to win or draw.