‘Athletic want to win the derby’

Markel Susaeta has declared that Athletic Bilbao are desperate to win the Basque derby at the weekend, even if both sides are evenly balanced.

Susaeta and his Leones teammates travel to Anoeta on Saturday evening for the first meeting with their rivals of the season, and already the winger is fully motivated.

“I love playing these types of games,” he enthused to reporters today.

“We want to win the derby, it will be a match with a lot of pressure. Real Sociedad are very competitive as a team.

“In this kind of match, any mistake will be paid for. There are no favourites, we are very close.”

Susaeta was also asked about last weekend’s goalless draw at home to Malaga, which saw Raul Fernandez deputise at the last minute for Gorka Iraizoz in goal.

Iraizoz could be fit to return to the team for the derby, but debate in the local media is on whether Raul should keep the spot anyway.

“Raul was very good in goal. The attitude in defence and the reliability were key against Malaga,” offered Susaeta.

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