4 January 2020
This weekend’s La Liga (LL) action gets underway at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán as Sevilla take on Athletic Bilbao.
The hosts finished 2019 with a 2-0 away triumph over Mallorca, bringing a two-game winless LL run to a halt (D1, L1). Surprisingly, just 41% of Sevilla’s total league points have come on home turf, although they’ve overseen an upturn in home form recently. Los Nervionenses have won three of their last five LL home fixtures (W3, D1, L1), with three of those results (win/loss) coming via a single-goal margin. A lack of goals has been Sevilla’s main problem so far this season, as they’ve netted an average of 1.25 goals per LL home match, scoring over 1.5 match goals only twice in eight league games at this venue. Nonetheless, Julen Lopetegui’s men enjoyed facing Athletic on home soil, as they’ve won all five of their previous top-flight home H2Hs, without conceding a single goal across those clashes.
Meanwhile, the visitors will be looking to erase the memory of a frustrating end to the last calendar year that saw them pick up just two points in their previous three league outings (D2, L1). Both of their draws in that three-game sequence have finished with the exact 0-0 scoreline, as Los Leones continue to struggle in the final third. Indeed, Gaizka Garitano’s players have drawn a blank in five of nine LL road trips, scoring 2+ match goals twice in the other four. The traveling fans will rely on a stubborn defense to deliver a positive outcome here. Athletic have kept three away clean sheets so far this season, conceding an average of one goal per LL away fixture. Also, much will depend on whether Bilbao manage to open the scoring, as they’ve lost all three of their LL away games that have seen them ship the opener.
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