Sevilla-Athletic Bilbao Betting Preview: Why a low scoring encounter looks on the cards tonight

Our Liga expert believes under 2.5 goals is the best bet for Monday evening's encounter in Seville
It is hard to think of two sides who will be more disappointed with how the 2012-13 season has turned out than Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao.

The Andalusians are sliding ever further away from the image of the great side they were in the middle half of the previous decade; at times arguably the most exciting team in Europe. Bilbao, meanwhile, thrilled in abundance last year, reaching two cup finals and playing with a vibrancy which has been so lacking this season that it's staggering.

Despite Sevilla's underachieving during the current campaign, Paddy Power price them as strong favourites tonight and rightly so, when you consider that they are unbeaten in their last six matches at the Sanchez Pizjuan, of which they have won five.

They can be backed at 8/15 (1.53) to add another victory to that run, while Athletic are offered at 9/2 (5.50). The draw is available at 13/5 (3.60).

When both of these sides were at their peak, backing a high scoring encounter would have been the obvious selection. Yet as mentioned this has not been a vintage season for either side and neither inspire too much confidence in front of goal.

Furthermore Sevilla will be missing their influential World Cup-winning captain Jesus Navas who has been at his blistering best this season, but is suspended for the encounter.

Backing under 2.5 goals either at 11/10 (2.10) could well appeal, given Sevilla's strike force will be blunted and five of Athletic's last six matches have all seen less than three goals.

For a value bet back a goal-less first half at 11/5 (3.20) which has paid out in three of Athletic's previous four games.

Under 2.5 goals at 11/10 (2.10) with Paddy Power
Under 0.5 goals first half at 11/5 (3.20) with Paddy Power

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports anchor working on TV in Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.