Athletic will try to prove to itself that what happened against Rayo was only a stumbling block in its trajectory. The rojiblancos have made a good start to the league, but on Tuesday in San Mamés they played their worst game of the season to suffer their first defeat with that goal from Radamel Falcao on the last play of the game. Today, they will try to get back on track in the match against Valencia corresponding to the seventh day of the League (Mestalla, 4.15pm, with refereeing by Hernandez Hernandez).
The objective is clear. Recover the competitiveness exhibited against Barça, Celta, Mallorca and Atlético. In those four commitments, the rojiblancos showed that they had improved substantially in the defensive aspect compared to what was offered the previous year and above all that they no longer made those mistakes that cost important points, but that good image collapsed against the Vallecanos with the loss of the ball on the first goal scored by Alvaro Garcia and the marking error in the 1-2 scored by the Colombian forward.
The Bilbao team will face today a tough team that has recovered its best version since the arrival of Jose Bordalás to his bench. The che come from two defeats (Real Madrid and Sevilla), but they can also boast of a good start to the League with ten points added out of eighteen possible, with three victories -Getafe (1-0), Alavés (3-0) and Osasuna (1-4) -, a draw in the visit to Granada (1-1) and the two lost games mentioned above.
The first incentive for the lions is to achieve the third victory of the season, but there are three others that also put sauce to the match. Iñaki Williams will play their 202nd League match consecutively, thus equaling Juan Antonio Larrañaga at the top of the podium in this historical ranking. The forward has not missed a match since April 20, 2016.
The second and third incentives have to do with Marcelino. The Asturian coach returns to Mestalla for the first time after the clearly unfair dismissal he suffered on September 11, 2019 after winning the Cup in the final against Barça and qualifying the team for the Champions League during the two seasons that he was in front of his bench. In addition, you will meet again with Bordalás, a coach with whom he does not have a good relationship. Everything comes from the dialectical confrontation that they starred when the Villaviciosa coach Valencia and the Alicante coach Getafe. Yesterday both showed their intention to greet each other.
Back to the origin
Today’s Athletic manager has been criticized this week for the large number of changes he made on Tuesday to receive Iraola’s men. He introduced six novelties in his eleven. Today quite possibly he will return to his type team, with Williams and Raul Garcia at the top of the attack, the only two forwards he has available before the casualties due to injury of Sancet and Villalibre. The remainder of the eleven could be formed by Unai Simon in goal, with Lekue, They lived, Iñigo Martinez and Balenziaga in defense and Berenguer, Victor, Dani Garcia and Muniain in the center of the field. Valencia has a good squad and some very dangerous player, such as Gonçalo Guedes, the Portuguese international who is recovering his best version.
The rojiblanco objective is to regain the competitiveness lost against Rayo. It would be a good hit on the table in a complicated square. Athletic has already shown this course that it can do it. There are the games developed against Barça and Atlético de Madrid.