The Athletic Club players have only four days left to finish preparing for Thursday’s Europa League clash with Dinamo Bucuresti and Cuco Ziganda has been hard at work installing new systems and player combinations. Iker Muniain and Ander Iturraspe have said that they believe the team is ready to start playing meaningful matches and this week we will see if they are right about that. However, two key players will not make the trip to Romania.
After Athletic’s friendly against Real Valladolid on Saturday, Ziganda said that he would not be taking Iñaki Williams or Kepa Arrizabalaga to Romania. He stated that they have only just returned from vacation and aren’t ready to play yet, but thankfully the team has other options who are ready to compete.
“Kepa and Iñaki Williams are not ready to play yet and we do not want to take risks with them. It is not imperative for them to travel because we have other players who are more advanced in their preparations. It is an unnecessary risk. Kepa could still travel, but we have to see how he is feeling. Goalkeepers are a different case, but we don’t want to risk anything.”
Markel Susaeta is expected to take Iñaki’s place in the squad against Dinamo, while Iago Herrerin will feature as the starting keeper. Herrerin will have the role of cup keeper this year, but having Unai Simon on the bench isn’t as reassuring as Kepa Arrizabalaga. Still, Thursday’s game promises to be highly entertaining and the Lions will have to be at their best if they are going to advance to the next round of the Europa League.