Athletic’s 1-0 loss to Alaves on Sunday but a major damper on their pursuit of European qualification. It made their final two matches vital to that goal, but also added an extra wrinkle. Aymeric Laporte picked up a yellow card towards the end of the second half, giving him five on the season, which will forced him to sit out the next match through suspension.
The next match will take place against Leganes at the San Mames and is a must-win game for Athletic Club. With Laporte missing out, either Eneko Boveda or Xabi Etxeita will partner Yeray in hopes in keeping their opponents off the score sheet. Being without the 22-year-old is certainly not good, but it also isn’t impossible to overcome, especially at home.
Though Laporte is suspended, there are three other players who are in danger as well. Iker Muniain, Inaki Williams, and Markel Susaeta are all one booking away from being sidelined and will need to toe the line in the match against Leganes. Inaki has been a single booking away since February and has done a great job of keeping himself out of the referee’s eye.
Athletic’s final game of the season with take place against Atletico Madrid in the last ever match at the Vicente Calderon. If the Lions end up needing a result from that match to qualify for Europe it definitely won’t be an easy task. That is why the game against Leganes is so vital and you can expect that Ernesto Valverde will have his team fired up to play their last game of the season in front of their own fans.