‘Madrid a big, complicated challenge’

Athletic Bilbao Coach Ernesto Valverde admits facing Real Madrid is a ‘big, complicated’ challenge and admits concerns over his team’s form.

Los Leones go into the game on the back of a defeat to Villarreal and Valverde told the Press that he isn’t over the defeat to the Yellow Submarine.

“There hasn’t been much time. We lost and that never goes down well. We have a big, complicated challenge against Madrid,” he said, AS reports.

“Madrid haven’t conceded a goal and we know of their attacking capability. They can score at any moment. Much of a team’s success is based on that.

“In the two League games we’ve played away from home we haven’t been good. We haven’t created chances, and that’s what worries me the most.

“Pressure is normal, it’s always there. The calendar has been strong, with other competitions to attend to. We’re being visited by a candidate to win the League and the Champions League. We need these points and we have to apply ourselves.

“I’m more motivated when we play against strong teams. It’s still three points and every time you play against a team like this it is a test.

“They’ll pay special attention to Aritz Aduriz, like we will Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Isco…we’ll try to maintain Aduriz’s form.

“Matches against Madrid are a tense rivalry, like Barcelona-Madrid or Atletico Madrid. It’s a long-time rivalry. The tension would be there with or without Raul Garcia.

“He’ll come in handy in the competitive sense, for goals. We don’t want to fight them, we want to beat them.”

Tags Ernesto Valverde