Athletic Bilbao vs Celta Vigo: Euro-chasing Galicians visit San Mames fortress

Athletic Bilbao vs Celta Vigo: Euro-chasing Galicians visit San Mames fortress

March 31, 2018 Off By Adam Storer

Celta Vigo head to the Basque Country in the hope of turning around their recent form to revive their hopes of getting into the European places for next season.

They take on Athletic Bilbao at San Mames, but were held to a goalless draw by bottom side Malaga last time out, which followed two defeats in three La Liga games.

Celta now sit four points behind Girona in fourth, which secures a spot in the second qualifying round of the Europa League, but will be taking on a Los Leones side with something to prove.

Enter the Lions’ den

Athletic finished seventh last season but flirted with relegation earlier this term. Now 14 points clear of the drop zone, they are ready to return to the top half of the table.

Their recent Europa League exit means they can focus on La Liga, knowing a win would put them within one point of the visitors.

Despite their struggles the Basque club have a good record at home this season in the league, losing just twice and unbeaten in their last nine matches at San Mames.

No Blanco for Celta

But Athletic will have to do it without defender Yeray Álvarez and veteran midfielder Mikel Rico. Yet, Aritz Aduriz and Iñaki Williams are set to regain their starting places after being benched in the defeat to Barcelona.

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Celta Vigo remain without number one goalkeeper Rubén Blanco, with Sergio Alvarez continuing to deputise.

Predicted line-ups

Athletic Bilbao (4-2-3-1): Kepa; De Marcos, Núñez, ĺñigo, Balenziaga; Beñat, San José; Williams, Raúl García, Susaeta; Aduriz.

Celta Vigo (4-4-2): Sergio; Hugo Mallo, Roncaglia, Sergi Gómez; Jonny; Wass, Pablo Hernández, Lobotka, Sisto; Aspas, Maxi Gómez.