NEWS
Saturday September 23 2017
Preview: Malaga-Athletic

Michel Gonzalez is feeling the heat ahead of Malaga’s clash with Athletic Bilbao after five straight defeats and questionable activity on social media.

Malaga boss Michel on dropping Javi Ontiveros for ‘liking’ the side’s 5-0 defeat to Valencia (before doing the same thing): "He’s out of the group because of a situation he created.

“It’s a very serious act of indiscipline, which isn’t his first, and decisions had to be made.

“There were some things that I didn’t like, and neither did the group. In spite of these individual cases, it’s necessary to look towards the collective.

“The ones who want to be here will be here, and the ones who don’t will be left out.

“When a decision like this is made, it’s because the situation requires it. I didn’t like how he liked a photo of us conceding five goals [against Valencia].

“I know there are a lot of people that have faith in him, and I was the one who made him a starter.”

Athletic boss Jose Angel Ziganda on the threat posed by the Andalusians and Yeray Alvarez’s return: “With zero points, they’ll try to get forward quickly in order to be calmer. We know their needs and they’ll be more motivated and focused than ever.

“They’ll come out very intensely and deeply, trying to play in a way that gives them their first victory.

“Still, we also want to win and we must do everything possible to do so. We must go out and put doubt in their minds.

“Yeray? It was what we hoped for and it was a matter of confirming the big news.

“When you compare a defeat to something like this, the defeat goes into the background.

“We’re very happy, it is a joy. Now there must be patience and calmness with him. We must let him get back into shape.

“He’ll really want those feelings of tiredness again, not because of his treatment, but because he demands them.”

Malaga (probable): Roberto; Rosales, Luis Hernnadez, Baysse, Ricca, Juankar; Kuzmanovic, Rolon, Recio; Rolan, Baston

Injuries/suspensions: Chory, Diego Gonzalez, Cenk, Penaranda (I)

Athletic Bilbao (probable): Kepa; Boveda, Nunez, Laporte, Balenziaga; Benat, Vesga; Susaeta, Raul Garcia, Muniain; Williams

Injuries/suspensions: Mikel Rico, De Marcos, Yeray (I)

Referee: Del Cerro Grande

Form guide: Malaga (L L L L L) Athletic (L L W W D)

Previous meeting: Athletic 1-0 Malaga

Venue: La Rosaleda

Kick-off time: 17:30 BST/18:30 local time (LIVE on Football Espana)

Football Italia website