Athletic Bilbao will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the new La Liga season when they host Rayo Vallecano on Tuesday at 9pm (UK time).
Marcelino’s men are currently fifth, four points behind leaders Real Madrid, while Rayo Vallecano are 10th.
Athletic Bilbao vs Rayo Vallecano live stream:
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Where to watch Athletic Bilbao vs Rayo Vallecano on TV:
Scoreline prediction: Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Rayo Vallecano
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Athletic Bilbao vs Rayo Vallecano build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Last season was a disappointing one for Athletic Bilbao as they finished 10th, 15 points behind the Europa League places. They have started the new season well, however, and have built up a good run as one of six teams still unbeaten in Spain’s top flight. Bilbao kicked off the campaign with back-to-back draws against Elche and Barcelona, the latter seeing the Blaugrana reduced to 10 men. Either side of the international break, Bilbao got their first two victories of the season, beating Celta Vigo and Real Mallorca, before another draw, this time against 10-men Atletico Madrid at the weekend.
Rayo Vallecano are back in the top flight following their promotion last season and they will be happy with their return so far despite a rocky start. The fixture list wasn’t kind to Vallecano, who lost 3-0 to Sevilla and 1-0 to Real Sociedad in their opening two matches, but they did bounce back in emphatic fashion, beating Granada 4-0 before the international break. Vallecano returned from the break with a 1-1 draw against Levante but another big win against Getafe (3-0) leaves the club just three points behind the early top four.
- Athletic Bilbao (vs Atletico Madrid): Simon; Lekue, Vivian, Martinez, Balenziaga; Muniain, D Garcia, Vencedor, Berenguer; R Garcia, Williams.
- Rayo Vallecano (vs Getafe): Dimitrievski; Balliu, Saveljich, Catena, Garcia; Comesana, Ciss; Palazon, Trejo, Bebe; Nteka.
Yuri Berchiche and Peru Nolaskoain remain out for Bilbao and they are joined on the sidelines by Oihan Snacet and Yeray Alvarez. Vallecano, meanwhile, are missing Martin Merquelanz while Oscar Trejo is a doubt.
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Players to watch:
- Athletic Bilbao: Another game and Inaki Williams is another step closer to La Liga history. In Bilbao’s goalless draw with Atletico Madrid on Sunday, the 27-year-old hit 200 consecutive La Liga games without absence, a run which stretches back to April 2016 when a thigh injury saw him miss a 1-0 win over Malaga. Williams is now just two games away from equalling the all-time competition record of 202, currently held by Jon Andoni Larranaga of Real Sociedad for his run between 1986 and 1991.
- Rayo Vallecano: The weekend’s big win over Getafe not only kept Vallecano’s unbeaten run going, but it also saw the debut of Radamel Falcao – yes, that Radamel Falcao. El Tigre joined Vallecano this month following his departure from Galatasaray and made his first appearance on the bench, not being fit enough to start after a lack of game time in Turkey. Falcao did eventually come on with 70 minutes gone and, 11 minutes later, he found the net. It was his first La Liga goal since scoring in Atletico Madrid’s 2-1 defeat at home to Barcelona on May 12, 2013 – ending an eight-and-a-half-year wait for Spanish fans. Falcao may not start on Tuesday but he does have a good record against Bilbao, scoring five goals in three games including one hat-trick (his joint-favourite opponent).
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