Valverde warns of Valencia threat

Ernesto Valverde has warned his Athletic Bilbao players to beware of Valencia’s ‘consistency’ ahead of Thursday’s meeting at San Mames.

The Basques are looking to close the gap on seventh-placed Malaga as they seek a Europa League place, while a win for Los Che would see them within one point of Atletico Madrid in third.

“We have the chance to get within three points of Malaga so this is a very important game for us, although Valencia have lost just three games away from home, to Deportivo la Coruna, Levante and Malaga,” Valverde told a Press conference.

“Therefore, I’m concerned about the consistency they’ve shown and I think they are clear candidates to play in the Champions League.

“I’m expecting a game similar to the one at their place, although our aim now is to win every game we can and then prepare for the Copa del Rey final.”

The 51-year-old, a former Bilbao striker, also commented on the news that Iker Muniain is set to be sidelined for six or seven months after rupturing a cruciate ligament in the 2-0 weekend defeat at Sevilla.

“We kept hoping it wasn’t going to be as bad but in the end it wasn’t good news and it’s a big blow for us. It was just bad luck how it happened.”

Tags Muniain Valverde