Athletic Bilbao builds it present, for now stable, position in the middle of the table on points won on San Mamés. In so far competition, out seven matches at home, Athletic Bilbao won five and lost two, which means without draws. The last three matches on its field, he won without receiving goals – 3:0 against Getafe and 1:0 against Almeri and Osasuna. It goes like that with them – defeat away, victory at home. Today, linkman Igor Martnez Caseras returns to the team and among the injured are still defenders Aldekoaotalora Ustaritz and Aitor Ocio, but the second one is not a standard first-team player so we can consider Athletic Club without any bigger personnel problems because of injuries or suspensions for today. It is not the same with the visitor, since they are short in the mid row today. Even two first-team players were suspended from that part of the formation – Javier Moreno and Raul Baena, and Javi Lopez is injured. Almost the whole mid row is out of play (Ivan De la Pena is absent for already two months and played only one match) and that has to be felt in team’s efficiency and the time to decrease excellent efficiency of Espanyol on the last 10 matches – seven victories, one draw and two defeats . Espanyol is in a record series of even five matches without defeat (four victories), which I think will not happen till the end of the season, because this team does not have that quality to keep that result up continuously on longer tracks. We will be able to see that already today, now that three players from the mid row are out. Espanyol won last in Bilbao nine years ago and ever since then, Athletic Club has been host 10 times, as in the championship as in the Copa del Rey, and five times the host won, and there five draws. So, Espanyol is not that easy of an opponent, except for one convincing victory from long ago, all the rest was 1:0 or 2:1. However, having in mind the shape of the home team in Bilbao in this season and weakened Espanyol before tomorrow’s match, I think all three matches stay on San Mamés.
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