Athletic Club vs Villarreal Betting Odds & Preview

Bilbao Coming Off Copa del Rey Triumph

Marcelino Returns to Bilbao

Athletic Club won their first Copa del Rey in 40 years last weekend as they triumphed over Mallorca on penalties. Bilbao will now focus on their bid for Champions League football next season. Just two points outside of La Liga’s top four, Athletic Club host Villarreal in an important match on Sunday.

Villarreal, who are in 10th, are on course for their worst league finish for five years. However, they’re just six points outside of seventh place and they’ll have extra motivation as current coach Marcelino used to manage Athletic Club. Ahead of Sunday’s match, we’ll run through the Athletic Club vs Villarreal betting odds and team news.

ATH Athletic Club vs Villarreal VILL

Records: Athletic Club (16-8-6), Villarreal (10-8-12)
Location
: San Mames, Bilbao, Spain
Day/Time: Stream: ESPN+

Athletic Club vs Villarreal Head-to-Head:

Bilbao has been the better side for Athletic Club vs Villarreal betting in recent seasons. Athletic Club have lost just one of their last ten fixtures on the La Liga game schedule vs. Villarreal. Athletic Club are also on a four-game unbeaten streak vs. Villarreal at home.

In this season’s reverse fixture, Bilbao took a 3-0 lead in the first half at Villarreal. The hosts managed two late consolation goals but Athletic Club won 3-2. Iñaki Williams has scored in two of his last three games vs. Villarreal.

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Athletic Club Superb at San Mames

Athletic Club is one of the most unique soccer clubs in the world with its all-Basque recruitment policy. In a landscape where teams routinely spend over $50 million to sign players from all over the globe, it’s a minor miracle that Bilbao can compete.

Last weekend, they ended a run of six Copa del Rey Finals without a win and defeated Mallorca in penalties. Athletic Club fell behind in Seville but midfielder Oihan Sancet leveled the score early on in the second half.

After 30 minutes of scoreless extra time, Athletic won 4-2 in penalties, and backup keeper Julen Agirrezabala made a crucial save. Bilbao will at least be playing in the Europa League next season but they have Champions League aspirations. They’re currently in fifth place in the Spanish La Liga standings, just two points behind Atletico Madrid.

Last time out in La Liga, Athletic Club fell 2-0 at Real Madrid, who are favorites to be La Liga winners. Bilbao hasn’t lost at the San Mames since the first day of the 2023-24 season, though. That defeat also came to Real Madrid.

Athletic Club has a clean bill of health at the moment but midfielder Iñigo Ruiz de Galarreta is suspended for Sunday’s match. Iñaki Wiliams, who has six career goals vs. Villarreal, is just one goal away from hitting 10 La Liga goals for the season. Gorka Guruzeta leads Bilbao, with 13 La Liga goals. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Unai Simon leads the league in shutouts, with 15 in 29 matches played.

Villarreal’s Form Improves Under Marcelino

Villarreal are on their third manager of the season. Quique Setien opened up the season as Villarreal’s coach but he was dismissed after he lost three of the first four matches of the season. Setien’s successor Pacheta lasted just 12 matches, in all competitions. His last match in charge was the 3-2 defeat vs. Athletic Club last November. Marcelino returned to Villarreal after over seven years away.

Since taking over in mid-November, Marcelino has compiled an 11-7-6 record overall. Villarreal’s form has improved greatly over the last couple of months, as they’ve won five of their last seven games, in all competitions.

However, they did fall 2-1 at home vs. Atletico Madrid at the end of March. Filip Jorgensen made some good saves but he couldn’t do much about Axel Witsel’s header and Saul Niguez’s winning goal. Alexander Sorloth got on the scoresheet for Villarreal in the loss.

Sorloth has scored 14 goals this season, which is just two goals fewer than La Liga joint-leaders Jude Bellingham, Artem Dovbyk and Ante Budimir. Alex Baena also leads the league in assists, with nine.

Villarreal has a few regulars injured at the moment, as Francis Coquelin and Ramon Terrats will most likely miss Sunday’s game. Eric Bailly and Juan Foyth are also listed as doubtful.

Athletic Club vs Villarreal Analysis & Odds

Athletic Club has scored two or more goals on 23 occasions this season, in all competitions. In those matches, they are 21-2-0. Plus, Real Madrid is the only side to defeat Bilbao at the San Mames this season. It’s no surprise that Athletic Club’s moneyline sits at -145 odds, along with Bilbao over 1.5 goals.

The Athletic Club vs Villarreal betting odds also list visitors Villarreal as +370 underdogs. Villarreal are 5-4-5 away from home this season and they’re unbeaten in their last four La Liga road games. That includes victories over Barcelona, Real Sociedad, and Real Betis, who are all top-half teams at the moment. Villarreal is also on a seven game scoring streak in La Liga.

A draw is priced at +300 odds and five of the last ten meetings have finished all square. Athletic Club haven’t conceded in any of their last three games at the San Mames but over 2.5, 3 goals show -115 odds for this one. While Bilbao has done just fine without him, Marcelino will want his Villarreal to prove a point and hand Athletic Club just their second home loss of the season on Sunday.

For La Liga predictions, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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