Verdict: Girona win
Best Odds: 5/4
Looking to extend on their record-breaking La Liga flurry, Girona will welcome Athletic Bilbao to the Estadi Montilivi on Monday night.
Starting with the hosts, heading into November’s international break with another stunning performance, Girona are in the midst of what has been a history-making romp. Last seen claiming a 2-1 victory away at Rayo Vallecano, Michel’s side are riding a famous wave of momentum. Opening this weekend’s fixtures holding a remarkable two-point buffer at the top of the La Liga table, the Catalonia-based outfit will simply be looking to make another statement here. Mustering a staggering 34 points from their first 13 appearances this season, Girona have rightfully received a string of plaudits from across Europe. Suddenly tipped as a leading contender to claim a famous Champions League ticket in 2024, Monday’s hosts have won 12 of their last 13 showdowns across all competitions – a run that stems all the way back to a 1-1 stalemate against Real Sociedad on the opening weekend.
Both still dealing with respective long-term knee injuries, Girona will once again be without the duo of Toni Villa and Joel Roca. Likewise, Michel’s men are still sweating over the fitness of 35-year-old Martin Juan Carlos on Monday night.
Already notching seven La Liga strikes this season, Ukraine international Artem Dovbyk will spearhead Girona’s charge here. Continuing to shine since arriving from Dutch giants PSV over the summer, 19-year-old Savio will once again have a leading role to play at the Estadi Montilivi.
As for the visitors, while Athletic Bilbao might have been left hugely frustrated last season as they missed out on the chance to book a European ticket, Ernesto Valverde’s side have come roaring back this time around. Heading into November’s international break with an action-packed 4-3 victory at home against Celta Vigo, the former Barcelona boss has seen his squad win each of their previous three domestic appearances across all competitions. With their recent flurry highlighted by a 3-2 win away at Villarreal earlier in the month, Bilbao have also found a real clinical edge in the final third. Notching nine strikes on their three-match winning romp, Monday’s guests will be desperate to spring an upset in Catalonia. However, hit with a 3-2 defeat when they last met Girona back on February 26th, Valverde’s men will face a stern examination at the Estadi Montilivi here.
While former Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera might not have made a single La Liga appearance since the start of October, the 34-year-old could make a full return here. However, Athletic Bilbao look set to be without homegrown star Yeray Alvarez on Monday night.
Bagging a brace against Celta Vigo prior to November’s international break, Gorka Guruzeta will spearhead Valverde’s attack at the Estadi Montilivi. Despite bagging just a single La Liga strike since September 27th, Ghana international Inaki Williams will join Guruzeta in the final third.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides last met back on February 26th, Girona picked up a lively 3-2 victory at San Mames.
- Monday’s hosts have picked up a remarkable 34 points from their opening 13 La Liga appearances this season.
- Likewise, Girona have won 12 of their previous 13 domestic appearances across all competitions.
- Athletic Bilbao have won each of their last three domestic showdowns across all competitions by an aggregate score of 9-6.
- However, the Lions have recorded just a single clean sheet from their previous eight matchups across all fronts.
Marking their return from November’s international break in the midst of what has been a history-making La Liga romp, Girona will simply be looking to carry on from where they left off earlier in the month. Already mustering a stunning 34 points from their opening 13 top-flight appearances, Monday’s hosts will also be excited by their most recent meeting against the Lions. While Athletic Bilbao might have found a welcomed boost prior to the fortnight interval, they will face a stern challenge here. Hit with a 3-2 defeat when they last met Girona back on February 26th, we are expecting a similar outcome here.
Verdict: Girona win
Best Odds: 5/4
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