Basque derby for Conference League participation
One last English week awaits the kickers of the highest Spanish league. The 36th matchday will be played this week. In the Basque duel Osasuna receives Athletic Bilbao and the predictions of the best bookmakers assume a success of the guests. Both teams still have a chance of participating in next year’s Conference League. The lions currently hold the better cards in their hands.
The hosts from Pamplona had to go through a tough programme in the last weeks and had some top teams in front of them. The points haul was correspondingly meagre. But the important seventh place is still within striking distance. However, the red and blues cannot afford a defeat against their direct rivals if they want to make it into the international competition. In the match between Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao, bets on the home side are rewarded with odds of 3.05 at the top.
The visitors from the Basque country finally ended their negative run last weekend. Still just at the right time to continue in the fight for the international starting place. However, they will have to do better on Thursday evening if they don’t want the competition to pass them by again. After the semi-final exit in the Copa del Rey against Osasuna, the visitors still have a score to settle. Kick-off is at 9:30 pm. This clash brings the 36th matchday to a close.
Osasuna – Statistics & current form
The success story of CA Osasuna is quite clear so far. Their biggest international success was reaching the UEFA Cup semi-finals in 2007, and nationally they have reached the cup final twice without lifting the trophy. Last season, the men from Pamplona finished in a secure mid-table position.
This minimum goal was also achieved early on in the current season. After 35 matchdays, the home side has thirteen wins and eight draws. The total of 47 points currently means tenth place in the standings. With a twelve-point lead over the relegation places, there is no longer any danger. But it is still worth looking upwards. Seventh place, which entitles the team to participate in the Conference League, is only three points away. However, the competition in the race for this position is fierce.
Osasuna with one of the worst offensive lines
The big shortcoming of CA Osasuna is their poor goal output. Head coach Jagoba Arrasate, who has been in charge since 2018, has only scored 32 times. Only four teams scored less often than the red and blue team. The best marksman in the Basque ranks is the Argentine Chimy Avila, who has scored seven times so far. The picture is completely different for the defensive line. The 39 goals conceded mean seventh place in this ranking.
CA Osasuna want to stop the negative run
A tough programme has seen the hosts fall behind a little in recent weeks. In the last five compulsory games, the red and blue conceded four defeats. However, it was against the four top teams of the league with Atletico Madrid (0:3), against Real Madrid (1:2), Barcelona (0:1) and Real Sociedad (0:2). The only victory came in a 3-1 win over Almeria.
In their own stadium, the last games were more successful. Nine points were taken from the last four home games. However, the overall record at the Estadio El Sadar is only mediocre at 9-1-7. Against the Lions, this record should now be improved. In the match between Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao, odds of 3.05 are offered for bets on the red and blue team. With a win, the home side would draw level with their opponents.
Athletic Bilbao – Statistics & current form
In contrast to their upcoming opponents, Athletic Bilbao can boast several trophies won. The Red and Whites have been champions eight times and have won the Copa del Rey 23 times. However, the last triumphs are already somewhat in the past. In 1984, the Lions achieved the double. Last season, the visitors finished eighth and narrowly missed out on the international competition.
They want to change that this year and qualify for the international stage. The Basques currently have 50 points in their account. Los Leones have celebrated fourteen victories and eight draws so far. Head coach Ernesto Valverde’s team is currently in seventh place. They are six points behind Betis Sevilla with three games to go. Girona, Sevilla FC, Osasuna and Rayo Vallecano are four teams still breathing down the Red and Whites’ necks as they look to claim the coveted Conference League spot.
Bilbao with decent offensive numbers
The offense has scored 46 goals so far. This is still the seventh best value league-wide. The best marksman in the visitors’ ranks is Ghanaian Inaki Williams, who has put the ball in the opponent’s box ten times. In terms of goals conceded, the two opponents are on an equal footing. The Lions have also conceded 39 goals so far.
The Valverde eleven has been going through a bit of a slump in recent weeks. From the games against Sevilla (0:1), at Mallorca (1:1), against Betis Sevilla (0:1) and at Villareal (1:5), only one point was snatched. It wasn’t until last weekend that they finally picked up another triple point in a 2-1 win over Celta Vigo.
Athletic have lost just one of their last six away games
The Red and Whites’ away record provides optimism for the upcoming game in Pamplona. Only one of the last six duels on the opponent’s pitch was lost. In three of these encounters, they even scored the full number of points. This puts the Lions in seventh place in the away table. The bookmakers are in a positive mood and offer odds of 2.45 for bets on the visitors in the match between Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao.
Osasuna – Athletic Bilbao Direct Comparison / H2H Scorecard
The two teams have met a total of 83 times in the top Spanish league. The overall balance speaks a clear language in favour of the guests. The Lions have won 41 times and the hosts only nineteen. There have already been three duels between the teams this season. In the first leg in the league, the opponents parted with a goalless 0-0 draw. For the second leg between Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao, the bookmakers’ predictions see the visitors with a slight advantage.
Two other matches took place in the Copa del Rey this season. Both teams won their home game 1-0, with Ibanez scoring the decisive goal for the red and blue in the extra time that was so necessary. Of the last six direct comparisons, only one went to Osasuna. The most recent four encounters were not goal spectacles and all ended with less than 2.5 goals.
Osasuna – Athletic Bilbao Tip
The Basque derby has a lot of importance this Thursday. Both teams are still playing for participation in an international competition. However, there are also three other contenders for this last international starting spot. Especially the hosts are under pressure to win if the dream is not to burst. In the event of a defeat, the gap would grow to six points and would probably be impossible to close with two match days left.
But the Lions can hardly afford a defeat either. The chasing pack is breathing down their necks and is only waiting for a slip-up by the competition. Both teams have rarely been convincing in recent weeks. Only one of the last four games was won in each case, so that the other teams moved up.
If we take a look at the three completed direct duels this season, we have to assume a low-scoring game. None of these encounters resulted in more than one goal. The hosts are not known for their offensive fireworks anyway. That’s why we don’t expect a goal spectacle on Thursday either and recommend betting on a match in which no goals are scored in the first half in the match between Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao.