Athletic returns to Villarreal 22 days later

Finally. After 22 days of forced break, it is time to go back to racing. Athletic has gone three weeks without playing a single match, first due to the stoppage due to the second FIFA window of the season and secondly due to the postponement of the match against Real Madrid that should have been played last Saturday at the Santiago Bernabéu, a decision that no one has understood.

The rojiblancos host Villarreal in San Mamés (9 pm, with refereeing by Cuadra Fernández) with the aim of picking up the road map where they left off. The set of Marcelino they defeated Alavés on October 1 with the solid exercise that they have shown this season. Now it is a question of resuming this good path with the ever-present doubt of how such a long break could have affected the team.

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The people of Castellón arrive in Bilbao with more shots. Last Sunday they lost at home to Osasuna (1-2), but on Wednesday they defeated Young Boys on the third day of the Champions League group stage (1-4), a victory that will undoubtedly give them the morale to face the lions tonight.

Bad results in Bilbao

In any case, his results in the domestic tournament are not to shoot rockets either. Unai Emery’s team has 11 points in their locker in eight games played – their match against Alavés on the fourth day was also postponed – and away from home they have not yet won although they have not lost either. The people of Castellón count their four trips as draws: Espanyol, Mallorca and Real Madrid (0-0) and Atlético (2-2). In La Cerámica they have achieved two victories, another equal on the scoreboard and the previously mentioned defeat against the rojillos. San Mamés, moreover, is not one of its best courses. The yellow submarine has only achieved one victory in the last nine visits to Bilbao.

Possible alignments of Athletic and Villarreal in tonight's match in San Mamés

Possible alignments of Athletic and Villarreal in tonight’s match in San Mamés


Athletic, for its part, is looking for its third victory at home after those harvested against Mallorca and Alavés to turn its field into a fortress, as it has demanded Marcelino. The Asturian believes that this will be key to achieving the regularity that was lacking last season and that it seems essential to achieve the European goal at the end of the course that all levels have in mind. The sporting prestige and also the economic future of the entity are at stake.

To do this, today they will have an extra dose of energy. For the first time in 601 days, all members and fans who wish can support their team live. San Mamés can already accommodate 100% of its capacity in a day and time that are suitable for the public to go to the field. Around 40,000 souls are expected to support their team in the old fashioned way, recalling those nights of communion between the stands and the team that have given so many points throughout history.

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The logical thing is that the coach of Careñes bet on his eleven type, with only one doubt, that of Raul Garcia or Sancet accompanying Williams at the tip of the attack. The rest of the team will be made up of Unai Simón in goal, Lekue, They lived, Iñigo Martinez and Balenziaga in defense and Berenguer, Victor, Dani Garcia and Muniain in the center of the field.

The event will start a four-game carousel in fourteen days. This is the Spanish League, three weeks without competing and now you have to run a marathon.

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