Athletic wants to celebrate this Saturday in Barcelona, in his visit to the Espanyol colista at RCDE Stadium, the ‘miracle’ of Elche last Wednesday, when he was saved from the elimination of the Copa del Rey in Martínez Valero on four consecutive penalties.
A true mystery almost without explanation how could overcome the trance an imbued Athletic still in the newly known Cup this same noon his rival in the round of 16 – will be Tenerife in the Heliodoro Rodríguez López – of a tournament that K.O. in the Reale Arena a Espanyol with the sights set more on a league stay that still has four points.
He must disconnect a few hours from his fetish competition the once ‘King of Cups’, which will recover two of the owners who gave rest against Elche, Yeray Álvarez and Dani García, and who has the doubt of Yuri Berchiche, who left on Thursday before his teammates a training in Lezama that Iker Muniain missed.
Yuri and Muniain left on Wednesday in the second half of a clash with extra time and, being in condition, would be fixed in an eleven in which Gaizka Garitano also gives start break to Raúl García and / or Iñaki Williams, who played the 120 minutes and they also threw penalties from 11 meters in the penalty shootout.
Iago Herrerín, the hero of Elche, will remain under sticks because Unai Simón, headline in LaLiga, continues with mumps.
Ahead, the Vizcaino coach will recover the usual physiognomy of the defensive block with Ander Capa and Iñigo Martínez fixed even having completed the game on Wednesday and Unai Núñez would continue in the eleven to leave with three centrals. If Yuri does not play, which on Thursday seemed to have a difficult time due to muscular discomfort and is the reason why Garitano summons 19 players, Mikel Balenziaga, owner and substitute in Elche.
In the double pivot, with the loss of the sanctioned Unai López, Beñat Etxebarria and Mikel Vesga, headlines in Martínez Valero, they aspire to accompany the insurance Dani García.
Above, waiting for the physical state of Muniain, Raul and Williams, the three undisputed headlines, Ibai Gomez could return, who rested on Wednesday and it seems already certain that he will not sign for Espanyol in the winter market that will close next.
Although Iñigo Lekue could also remain at home in one of the bands or enter Asier Villalibre and / or Kenan Kodro at the point of attack. Aritz Aduriz and Oscar de Marcos are injured.
Espanyol, on the other hand, faces the clash in the midst of a high mood after drawing against Barcelona and winning against Villarreal in LaLiga.
A dynamic that, despite the elimination in the Copa del Rey, has convinced the ‘periquita’ fans that permanence in the First Division is possible.
Meanwhile, Athletic progress in the Cup with tremendous suffering will encourage him to recover the path of victory after having tied his last four games and adding only 4 points of the last 15 possible.
The Catalan team is a colist in the classification. However, the costumes face the following commitments with renewed energy. The Basque team is an important rival, but Espanyol is confident of becoming strong in its stadium, one of the pending subjects of this season.
Athletic will see a renewed team emotionally and tactically. The coach, Abelardo Fernández, has applied a simple and risk-free 4-4-2 that has been well received by the staff. In addition, the coach has had more days of work, which will see a more refined football proposal.
The clash against Athletic can be an opportunity to see in action the new incorporations of the Catalan entity in this winter market: striker Raúl de Tomás, who already saw the door in front of Villarreal, Uruguayan central Leandro Cabrera and midfielder Adrián Embarba
The Spanish coach has the safe absences of the right back Javi López, sanctioned, and the French defender Corchia, injured and with the federation loss.
In the last calls, striker Campuzano and midfielder Granero have not entered because of discomfort in the pubis and back, respectively, and their presence on the list is not guaranteed. The rest of the players, except last-minute surprise, are available.
Diego López; Víctor Sánchez, Naldo, Cabrera, Dídac; Melendo, David López, Roca, Darder; Calleri and Raúl de Tomás.
Iago Herrerín; Capa, Yeray, Iñigo Martínez, Balenziaga; Dani García, Beñat; Williams, Muniain, Ibai; and Raúl García.
Sánchez Martínez (Murciano Committee).
- Time and TV
13:00, Movistar LaLiga.