Valencia v Athletic Bilbao Betting Tips: Goals on the cards at Mestalla

15:15/Feb 19

Sports betting writer Bradley Gibbs highlights a betting opportunity ahead of Sunday’s La Liga clash between Valencia and Athletic Bilbao. 

In recent years, when these two have clashed it’s often been an important battle in the race for European qualification; however, this season, only Bilbao can be hopeful of competing in Europe next season, while Valencia are purely focused on making sure they’re not competing in the second division of Spanish football – such has been the nature of their campaign.

Although this pair are no longer vying with each other for European football, one thing that should remain is goals. There’s generally plenty of goals on show when these two meet and this game is expected to be no different. At odds of 6/5, ‘Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score’ is the selection that stands out.

They might have failed to secure the points on several occasions this season, but Valencia are no strangers to high-scoring matches. 71% of The Bats’ La Liga matches have seen at least three goals go in, while this stat increases to 78% when taking into account just their home fixtures. Also, somewhat unsurprisingly, both teams have scored in seven of their nine home games.

Having found the net 13 times in nine matches at the Mestalla, scoring goals hasn’t exactly been the problem for Valencia. Keeping them out is where the hosts have struggled and they’ve now shipped no less than 21 goals on home soil.

Bilbao don’t exactly measure up as favourably as their hosts in the goals department, but they’re certainly not a side to be dismissed from an attacking point of view. 60% of Bilbao’s away matches this season have seen at least three goals go in. The visitors might have failed to score in four of their 10 away matches, but considering Valencia are conceding on average the second highest amount of shots on target per home match, you’d have to fancy Ernesto Valverde’s side to get on the score-sheet here. After all, the hosts are yet to keep a clean sheet on home soil, while the fact that Bilbao have scored nine goals in their last five (all-competitions) is a real positive.

With Valencia just four points above the drop-zone, they really do need to start picking up points, but with their shaky back-line, the way in which they’re likely to do this (at least in games such as this) is by outscoring their opponents. Luckily for them, they face an Athletic Bilbao team who’ve kept just two clean sheets in their last ten on the road. However, while the hosts are very much fancied to make attacking headway in this fixture, their countless abysmal defensive displays this season cannot be ignored, and, therefore, the visitors could also do plenty of damage.

When these two met earlier in the campaign it finished 2-1 and a similar scoreline is expected to arise here. Backing both teams to find the net in a relatively high-scoring match is definitely the way to go ahead of this fixture.

Read more from Bradley here.

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Valencia v Athletic Bilbao
19.02.2017 15:15 \B\S\T
La Liga
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