Ernesto Valverde has warned Athletic Bilbao that Elche will be no pushovers when they do battle at Martinez Valero in La Liga on Sunday.
A run of three draws has seen Los Leones fall to eighth place in the table, despite their best efforts to work their way into Europa League contention, but they can still qualify for next season’s competition via seventh or beating Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.
“In theory, we’re better than our opponents because they no longer have anything to play for,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“However, Elche have lost the fear that gripped them for most of the season and are finishing well.
“They deserve enormous merit. They survived by a [considerable] margin and that makes me cautious.
“We’re not thinking about Villarreal yet. I’m only thinking about beating [Elche] so we’re in the fight [for seventh place], which is what we wanted earlier this season.
“In any case, Malaga would need to await the outcome of the [Copa del Rey] final to find out if they’ll play in Europe and we don’t.”