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La Liga: Celta Vigo vs Athletic Bilbao preview

Kick off: Wednesday, 30 December @19:30 GMT

Venue: Estadio de Balaidos (Vigo)

Head to head record

Celta Vigo vs Athletic 1-2 (2014/2015 La Liga)
Athletic vs Celta Vigo 0-2 (2014/2015 Copa del Rey)
Celta Vigo vs Athletic 2-4 (2014/2015 Copa del Rey)
Athletic vs Celta Vigo 1-1 (2014/2015 La Liga)
Celta Vigo vs Athletic 0-0 (2013/2014 La Liga)

Celta Vigo vs Athletic Bilbao prediction

Celta Vigo and Athletic Bilbao square off against each other in the top-of-the-table clash at Estadio de Balaidos. Os Celeste aim to stay in the Champions League berth, but Wednesday’s game against the Lions will be anything but a walk in the park for the hosts.

Back-to-back wins

Celta Vigo head into the final game of the year in fine form and bolstered by the return of key player Nolito, who missed the Granada match through suspension. Os Celeste aim to extend their winning run in La Liga to three matches and they are eager to finish the year in style. Eduardo Berizzo’s men sit in fourth place in the standings ahead of Matchday 17 and it has to be noted that they are just two points behind star-studded Real Madrid. Celta Vigo are eyeing their third consecutive win at their Estadio de Balaidos, but they will have to excel to record a victory over Athletic Bilbao. As I have already mentioned, Nolito returns to the starting line-up and the 29-year-old attacker, who has netted eight goals this season, will certainly be a danger for the opposition back line.

Midfielder Augusto Fernandez has overcome his injury, but he is likely to start from the bench. Centre-back Andreu Fontas, though, remains in the treatment room. Nolito will replace Bongonda in the starting XI.

Watch the Match via bet365 Live Stream

 

Blowing hot and cold

Over the years Athletic Bilbao have established themselves as a top-table side in Spanish Primera Division. The Basque outfit have been having their ups and downs in the 2015/2016 campaign, but they sit in the top half of the standings ahead of the final game of the year. The Lions recorded a routine 2-0 win over rock-bottom Levante in their last league game, but Celta Vigo will pose a much bigger threat for Ernesto Valverde’s charges than their previous rivals. Athletic Bilbao have already suffered four defeats on the road this season and they certainly face a difficult task in the Estadio de Balaidos clash. Despite aiming to extend their winning run to three matches in all competitions, no doubt, the visitors would be happy to leave “Balaidos” with a point and there is every chance they will adopt a defence-minded approach this time out. Aritz Aduriz is enjoying yet another successful season and the opposition defenders could find it hard to contain the experienced forward.

Ander Iturraspe returns to contention after missing the Levante game with injury, while Markel Susaeta is a major doubt and he will be assessed on the match day. Ibai Gomez has yet to recover from his injury and he is definitely out of contention.

Quick Facts

  • Celta Vigo managed to keep a clean sheet in previous three games
  • Os Celeste are unbeaten in four league matches
  • Under 2.5 goals were scored in Celta’s last three league fixtures
  • Athletic defeated Celta in previous two meetings at Estadio de Balaidos
  • Over 2.5 goals were scored in four of Athletic Bilbao’s last five away games

Celta Vigo vs Athletic Bilbao betting tip

Seeing that both Celta Vigo and Athletic Bilbao would be happy with one point from Wednesday’s La Liga clash, there is every chance we will see a close encounter at Estadio de Balaidos. Both sides managed to keep a clean sheet on Matchday 16 and, taking everything into account, the two teams are likely to share the spoils in the final game in 2015. It has to be noted that Celta played out two draws against Athletic in previous three meetings between the two teams in La Liga.

Tip: Draw

Odds: 3.40 (12/5) @BetVictor

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