Check out our analysis, team news, line-ups and see our prediction for this match.
Moose and Sporty Bilbao will open their respective LaLiga campaigns 2021-22 with a meeting at the Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero on Monday evening.
Athletic accumulated 46 points from their 38 league games last season and finished 10th in Spain’s top division, while Elche narrowly prevented relegation by finishing 17th, two points ahead of relegation zone.
Prediction for this match
Elche, as mentioned, finished 17th when she returned to the top division last season.
Only the last three won fewer games than Elche (eight) won last season and it would be no surprise if they were to fight for their lives at the bottom again towards the end of the new season.
Recruiting is vital for any club in world football, especially those who cannot afford to spend a lot of money Ivan Marcone, Johan Mojica and Lucas Boye on long-term contracts.
Pedro Bigas and Enzo Roco have also arrived while Kiko Casilla is on loan from Leeds United meaning their squad should get even tighter next season, but a number of players, including Dani Calvo and Miguel Cifuentes, have relied on free bank transfers.
Fran EscribaThe team will definitely have a positive start to the season, but the next two after this one are incredibly difficult months.
Athletic won 11 draws, 13 draws last season and lost 14 of their 38 league games last season to finish 10th, about 15 points behind the top 6; The table position was an improvement over 2019-20 when they finished 11th, but five points less were taken over the course of the season.
The Basque team finished fourth, seventh, fifth and seventh in Spain’s top division between 2014 and 2017, but it’s hard to imagine them pushing for a potential European spot in the coming season.
Athletic’s club policy of only signing Basque players makes it incredibly difficult for them to improve their team every year and it has been a quiet transfer window with Alex Petxa the only arrival of Real Sociedad B.
It’s essentially the same group of players that finished last season so there won’t be too many surprises Ernesto Valverde‘s side this season and they have to seriously outbid to get into the top six.
However, the Lions have shown positive signals in the course of the pre-season, beating Borussia Dortmund and Southampton in recent friendlies and drawing 1-1 with Liverpool the last time.
See all team news
Moose will be without the services of. being Jony Alamo on Monday because of a hamstring problem while Luismi recently tested positive for the coronavirus and is therefore not available for selection.
Pablo Piatti Also struggling with calf problems, otherwise Escriba’s squad is in good shape and it could be a 4-4-2 formation for the home side, with Boye reinforcing Guido Carrillo in the last third of the field.
Raul Guti will probably be with Marcone in the middle of the park Josan Fernandez and Fidel expects to form midfield while Bigas could make his back four debut.
As for athletics, Yuri Berchiche and Peru Nolaskoain are out for the foreseeable future while Other capa, Inigo Cordoba and Kenan Kodro Everyone is expected to miss the competition.
Head coach Marcelino however still has a strong squad to choose from and an attacking squad could include Iker Muniain, Inaki Williams and Alex Berenguer.
Oihan Sancet also urges to get involved in the last third of the field, while Marcelino has to make decisions in the middle of the park, but Unai Vencedor could ultimately get the nod on the side Dani Garcia.
Elche possible starting line-up:
Badia; Palacios, Verdu, Bigas, Josema; Josan, Guti, Marcone, Fidel; Carrillo, Boye
Athletic Bilbao possible starting line-up:
Agirrezabala; De Marcos, Alvarez, Martinez, Balenziaga; Berenguer, D. Garcia, Vencedor, Muniain; Williams, Sancet
Probability: Elche 0-1 Athletic Bilbao
This is an incredibly difficult game to predict as it is difficult to know exactly what to expect so early in the season. Recent meetings between these two teams suggest it will be a close affair and we can see a narrow 1-0 win for Athletic, with Williams potentially on the scorers’ list.