Athletic Bilbao vs Cadiz
Estadio San Mames Barria, Bilbao
Thursday, 01-10-2020 @8pm
Ref: Pablo Gonzalez
LaLiga new boys Cadiz face a long trip north to San Mames on Thursday.
They’ve made a mixed start to their first top flight campaign in 14 years and will be underdogs here against an Athletic side that is hoping to push for European football this season.
It has been a slightly disjointed start for Athletic Club, who were beaten 2-0 at Granada on the opening weekend and then didn’t have a fixture on matchday two, leaving them with a fortnight to stew over that defeat.
Their response was positive though with Unai Lopez the unlikely hero at Eibar at the weekend. The midfielder, who had only previously scored one league goal for the club, bagged a brace to seal a derby victory for Gaizka Garitano’s side and they’ve a good opportunity to back that up with another three points here.
As for Cadiz, the trend from the end of last season in the Segunda Division when they were often more convincing on their travels than at home, has so far continued. They claimed their first win of the new campaign at Huesca, but have lost both matches at the Ramon de Carranza so far.
Cadiz come into this after a 3-1 Andalusian derby defeat to Sevilla. They did take the lead in that game with Alvaro Negredo teeing up Salvi Sanchez just after Half-Time but ultimately they couldn’t cope with the kind of quality Sevilla were able to bring off the bench with the continued use of the ‘5 substitutes’ rule, a clear benefit to the bigger clubs.
The only competitive meetings this century came during Cadiz’s last top flight campaign (2005/06). Both games produced 1-0 home wins with Roberto scoring a late penalty to win the San Mames clash for Athletic.
Yeray is the only major absentee for Athletic meaning Unai Nunez will partner Inigo Martinez at centre-back.
Cadiz are also close to full strength but may consider some light rotation. Choco Lozano could lead the line if Alvaro Cervera decides veteran forward Alvaro Negredo needs a rest.
Sevilla vs Levante
Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville
Thursday, 01-10-2020 @8pm
Ref: Javier Estrada
Europa League winners Sevilla had to come from behind to win their opening La Liga game of the season against newly promoted Cadiz but victory should be more straightforward against permeable Levante.
Levante were languishing in mid-table obscurity last season, losing 17 of their 38 league assignments, thanks largely to their poor defence.
Only Mallorca (five) managed fewer clean sheets in 2019-20 than Levante (six), who had only one shutout on the road in the entirety of the campaign. They conceded 53 goals last term, more than relegated Leganes, and could come unstuck against the likes of Lucas Ocampos, Suso and Luuk de Jong.
Sevilla have netted nine goals in their last three home meetings with Levante. Sevilla have kept five clean sheets in their last six Primera Liga home games. Sevilla are unbeaten in nine of their last ten Primera Liga meetings with these opponents. Levante have shipped nine goals in their last four away games.
Celta Vigo vs Barcelona
Abanca Balaidos, Vigo
Thursday, 01-10-2020 @10:30pm
Ref: Carlos del Cerro
Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona tenure started with a convincing 4-0 win over Villarreal at Camp Nou but it was on the road where the Catalan giants struggled last season and they could be breached by improving Celta Vigo.
Vigo have so far held Eibar and Valladolid to stalemates on the road and won their sole home contest 2-1 against Valencia, with veteran marksman Iago Aspas netting all of their goals this term.
They managed 23 shots in that clash against Valencia, though, and five of their seven wins last term came at Bailados, where they also scored 22 of their 35 league goals.
By their standards, Barcelona’s tally of only seven clean sheets from 19 away games last season suggests there are defensive deficiencies to attend to.
Eight of the last ten La Liga meetings between these sides have finished with over 2.5 goals. Both teams have scored in eight of Celta Vigo’s last ten La Liga matches. The two meetings between these sides last season featured a total nine goals.
Recent La Liga Results
-Real Sociedad 0-1 Valencia
-Getafe 3-0 Real Betis
-Huesca 0-0 Atletico Madrid
-Villarreal 3-1 Deportivo Alaves
-Eibar 0-1 Elche
-Real Madrid 1-0 Real Valladolid