Bilbao v Villarreal: Yellow Submarines to sink at San Mames
They say a change can do you good and it certainly appears the case for Athletic Bilbao as their new San Mames home continues to bring good fortune for Ernesto Valverde’s side.
Bilbao are so far unbeaten at the new 53,000 stadium that opened in September, with wins over Celta Vigo and Real Betis alongside a draw with Valencia adding to their early season win over Osasuna at their temporary home of the Estadio Municipal.
All-in-all, Los Leones have notched eight goals in four games on their own turf this season, goals that have encouragingly been spread throughout the side, with eight different goalscorers already.
And with their strong home record so far, Bilbao are temptingly priced at 5/4 to record their fifth win of the season, though visitors Villarreal (21/10 match favs) promise to prove their sternest test of the season.
The Yellow Submarines are enjoying their return to the top flight, lying in fourth place and suggesting that a return to the Champions League for the first time in three years remains a real possibility.
But like their hosts on Monday evening, Villarreal are much more effective on home soil, as their 3-0 thumping of Granada proved before the international break.
Recent form on the road has not been so hot, however. They’ve failed to find the back of the net in their last two, with a 0-0 draw at Celta followed by a shock 1-0 loss to strugglers Real Betis.
Seventh-placed Bilbao trail their visitors by only four points and will fancy their chances of closing the gap. But while they might have picked up 77% of their points at home, they have also conceded the first goal in 75% of their games this season, making the 9/1 on the home side coming from behind to win another top punt.
The two sides could not be separated last time round, with a 2-2 draw at El Madrigal following a 1-1 draw two seasons ago. The draw is priced at 12/5.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.