Muurinen: Athletic much better than us

HJK Helsinki boss Antti Muurinen has conceded his side are inferior to Athletic Bilbao ahead of the clubs Europa League clash tonight.

Finnish champions HJK are the opposition in a Europa League play-off round first leg at San Mames this evening, as Marcelo Bielsa's side strive to gain entry to the tournament they finished runners-up in last season.

“We know that the opposition is much better than us, but we will do what we can,” Muurinen is quoted as saying by CanalAthletic.

The Coach, whose team were thumped 4-1 on aggregate by Celtic in the Champions League qualifiers, doesn't believe the turbulent atmosphere in Bilbao caused by the potential departures of Fernando Llorente and Javi Martinez will benefit HJK.

“We have heard that some major players are going to go, but that creates opportunities for new stars to come forward and shine. All of their players are strong.”

Muurinen's assistant Juho Rantala, who observed Bilbao's 5-3 defeat to Real Betis on Sunday, has described Los Leones as a 'Jekyll and Hyde' outfit.

“At times they play beautifully and at others quite badly,” Rantala said.

Tags Athletic Bilabo HJK Helsinki