Spartak Moscow vs Athletic Bilbao
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Date: 15 February 2018
Kick-off: 19:00 CET
As all Russian teams, Spartak Moscow haven’t played an official match in two months. They are sharing the second spot in the Russia Premier League table with Zenit on 37 points, eight below leaders Lokomotiv Moscow. They told their fans “see you next year” with an impressive 3-0 win over CSKA Moscow back in December, just a few days after getting humiliated by Liverpool at Anfield. They lost that game 7-0(!), still leaving Maribor below them in the table of their Champions League group, to earn a ticket to the last 32 of the Europa League. What’s somewhat ironic is that Sevilla, a team they destroyed 5-1 in Moscow earlier in the CL group stage, are in the CL last 16. Generally, inconsistency was a major issue at Spartak in the second half of 2017, and they paid for that in the Champions League.
Athletic Bilbao are one of those teams that have heavily under-performed this season, no matter if they are in the last 32 of the Europa League. They had Ostersunds and Zorya in their group, and even the German side they were drawn with, Hertha Berlin, are not at the same level as other top-top German clubs. Even so, Athletic had just two points after their first three matches, losing to Zorya at home(!). They shaped up in the second round, won all three games, not without struggling though. Their LaLiga season has been… almost a disaster (and “almost” may be redundant). They are sitting just 13th in the table, lower than teams like Getafe and Leganés. In their last five games in the championship they have four draws and a defeat, no win, so… it’s no wonder they are that low in the table. On the other hand, they have lost only one of their last 12 matches, they had gone undefeated in ten games, winning only three of those though.
Previous five matches:
Sparta Praha vs Spartak 1-2
Spartak vs Hebei 1-2
CSKA Sofia vs Spartak 0-0
Spartak vs Shanghai SIPG 0-1
Spartak vs CSKA Moscow 3-0
Athletic vs Las Palmas 0-0
Girona vs Athletic 2-0
Athletic vs Eibar 1-1
Athletic vs Rudeš 0-0
Getafe vs Athletic 2-2
Spartak’s next game is the return leg in Bilbao, next Thursday. Athletic are visiting Atletico Madrid on Sunday (Spain LaLiga).
Spartak Moscow vs Athletic Bilbao: Head to head Stats
Spartak have faced nine Spanish teams in the past, but not Athletic.
Spartak Moscow vs Athletic Bilbao: Prediction
Spartak Moscow are given an advantage to win the game. Personally, with so many matches available, this is one I would leave aside. Spartak haven’t played an official game in two months, and Athletic are… this season’s Athletic, a team capable of disappointing big, but still… Athletic, with many players who have proven their worth over the years.
Spartak Moscow vs Athletic Bilbao: Betting Tips
If I absolutely had to choose something (having already mentioned that this is a game I wouldn’t touch), I would go for “under 2.5 goals”, expecting a match similar to the one Athletic played in Berlin against Hertha, on their Europa League group stage debut, a rather boring 0-0. Under 1.5 pays an awesome 3.25, and draw, which I consider the most probable result, is at 3.20.
More UEFA Europa League betting tips and match previews:
- Red Star Belgrade vs CSKA Moscow
- Astana vs Sporting Lisbon
- Borussia Dortmund vs Atalanta
- Nice vs Lokomotiv Moscow
- Real Sociedad vs Salzburg
- Ludogorets vs AC Milan
- Ostersunds vs Arsenal
- Marseille vs Braga
- FC Copenhagen vs Atletico Madrid
- AEK Athens vs Dynamo Kyiv
- Celtic vs Zenit
- Napoli vs RB Leipzig
- Lyon vs Villarreal
- Partizan Belgrade vs Viktoria Plzen
- FCSB vs Lazio