Preview: Eibar-Athletic

The first Basque derby of the season is already upon us as Athletic Bilbao travel to nearby Eibar on Sunday evening.

Eibar boss Jose Luis Mendilibar on Japanese midfielder Takashi Inui: “He’s very good technically and tactically. He needs to let loose and push on. He can do some unbelievable things, but then he can mess up a simple pass.

“He has to focus more on that sort of thing. Even so, he’s an important player for us. He’s captured my idea of football, and right now he’s the player that understands what I want the most.”

Athletic boss Jose Angel Ziganda on juggling La Liga with the Europa League: “We have to go step by step. The playoffs have affected us in terms of strain.

“Still, that was a priority objective for the club because being [in Europe] again was important.

“Now we have four intense months because the time that the other teams in La Liga will have to prepare for matches, we’ll have the Europa League, but I don’t see any problems.

“We want to be cruising and not fluctuate with each match. We’ll put out our best XI and have very cool heads, which is the most important thing right now.”

Eibar: Dmitrovic; Capa, Oliveira, Ramis, Jose Angel; Alejo, Jordan, Dani Garcia, Inui; Kike, Charles

Injuries/suspensions: Arbilla, Fran Rico, Nano, Pedro Leon, Yoel (I)

Athletic Bilbao: Kepa; Boveda, Etxeita, Laporte, Balenziaga; Iturraspe, San Jose; Williams, Raul Garcia, Aketxe; Aduriz

Injuries/suspensions: De Marcos, Yeray (I)

Referee: Sanchez Martinez

Form guide: Eibar (W – – – -) Athletic (D – – – -)

Previous meeting: Eibar 0-1 Athletic

Kick-off time: 17:15 BST/18:15 CET

Tags Athletic
La Liga - Club News