Sporting Gijon vs Athletic Bilbao
2016/17 Spanish La Liga
Date: Sunday, 21 August, 2016
Kick-off: 17:15 UK.
Venue: Estadio Municipal El Molinon (Gijon).
Real Sporting de Gijon fought hard to maintain their top flight status last season with a 17th place finish in the table. There awaits stern test for them and they will open their new season with a home match against Athletic Bilbao.
The Rojiblancos had a disappointing pre-season and didn’t win in any of their eight friendly matches inside the ninety minutes. Their forward line will be a real worry for Abelardo Fernandez after managing just 3 goals during the period.
Bilbao managed to finish fifth last season and they will be keen to improve on it by challenging some strong teams to finish inside the top four. But this will depend how effectively they manage their busy La Liga schedule with Europa League ambitions.
Ernesto Valverde’s team were far from impressive in the pre-season friendlies. They finished with just 1 win from 8 matches, but grabbed one morale boosting win against German giants Borussia Dortmund.
Sporting Gijon vs Athletic Bilbao: Head-to-Head
Gijon have managed to defeat Bilbao just twice in the 24 meetings between the clubs so far in all competitions. While Athletic club grabbed 13 wins and 9 draws.
Interestingly, Gijon haven’t won a home game against Bilbao with the 11 matches ending in 5 draws and 6 losses.
The last season’s La Liga fixture at Gijon against Bilbao ended in a 2-0 win for the visitors.
Sporting Gijon vs Athletic Bilbao: Prediction
Sporting Gijon had a busy summer by bringing a number of new players to strengthen their squad. But the results from their pre-season suggests that it may take a while for them to settle down as a team. They started the last season by holding Rafa Benitez’ Real Madrid to a 0-0 draw at this same venue.
Athletic Bilbao’s strong head-to-head record could work in their favor here. Their last defeat against Gijon was on October 2009 which now stretches to 7 La Liga games. The away side look good to come out of something from this fixture. A double chance is worth a bet, a straight win is pretty risky.
Sporting Gijon vs Athletic Bilbao: Bet Tips
Under 2.5 goals.
Double Side: Draw/Bilbao.