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Our La Liga expert Phil Kitromilides feels an in-form Athletic side will have no problems netting in the opening 45 minutes

Two teams in highly contrasting form meet at the Estadio Martinez Valero this evening as struggling Elche take on high-flying Athletic Bilbao.

The Basques are looking almost certain to secure fourth spot in the table after just one defeat in 11 games and have shown what a quality outfit they are by recording impressive results against both Real Madrid and Barcelona earlier on this season.

Conversely, Elche are very much involved in the battle to avoid relegation having secured a solitary victory in their previous seven fixtures, during which time they have scored a paltry two goals.

William Hill offer the hosts at 3/1 (4.00) while Athletic are offered at evens (2.00). It's 23/10 (3.30) that the game ends all square.

On paper of course it would make sense in some way backing the visitors given the respective form of the sides.

One of Athletic's main strengths is their ability to consistently find the back of the net, with Ernesto Valverde's men having scored in 15 of their last 17 league games.

The price therefore of 17/20 (1.85) for the Basques' first goal to come in the opening half looks tempting.

Indeed it seems a logical selection, with one of the best sides in the division facing one of the statically poorest it is highly probable that Athletic can find the back of the net in the opening 45 minutes.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
Athletic Bilbao to score in the first half at 17/20 (1.85) 2.5pt stake with William Hill

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid

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