Athletic Bilbao are reeling from successive defeats as they lurch into this derby with improving Osasuna.
Having lost the Basque derby 2-0 to Real Sociedad last weekend Athletic were scudded 3-1 by Sparta Prague in the Europa League on Thursday, leaving them at serious risk of failing to escape the group stage in a tournament they reached the final of last year.
“The fact is we have lost to rivals that are inferior to us,” under-fire Coach Marcelo Bielsa stated. “That is the reality and we cannot ignore it.”
With Los Leones needing a result to get out of the relegation zone, the pressure is on Bielsa to end Fernando Llorente's exile and finally give the Spanish international a start.
Though it isn't as big a derby as the one with Sociedad, Athletic's encounter with the side from neighbouring Navarre is bound to be fiercely contested, and the fact that Osasuna are one point behind their hosts gives the game an extra 'relegation six pointer' dimension.
“Their support will push them to give 100 per cent,” said Los Rojillos midfielder Anthony Annan. “So we have to give 110.”