Athletic Club have already played two official matches this season, both against Dinamo Bucuresti in the third qualifying round of the Europa League. Last week they played to a 1-1 draw in Romania before Athletic soared to a 3-0 victory at the San Mamés on Thursday. The Lions officially advanced to the knock-out stages of the tournament and the drawing was held on Friday. Like the last round, the Basques have once against been drawn against one of the toughest possible opponents.
Athletic Club will officially compete against Panathinaikos in the knock-out round of the Europa League. The first match will take place on 17 August in Athens, Greece with the return leg taking place on 24 August at the San Mamés.
Panathinaikos had the highest coefficient of any team that Athletic could have drawn, meaning they are one of the strongest. The Greek giants are very familiar to European competition and will be no easy test for the Lions. Luckily, the return leg will take place in Bilbao where Athletic has been nearly unbeatable over the last few seasons. Kuko Ziganda has a very healthy team going into the matches and the team is playing at a very high level. Regardless of the outcome, these two games will be very entertaining and intense.
Before kicking off the first meeting in Greece, Athletic will travel to Ireland on Saturday to face off with Liverpool in a friendly organized by New Balance, who sponsors both clubs. The Lions will then take on Alaves in the Basque Country Cup on 12 August which will be a very special game for everyone involved. Athletic will also have a La Liga game in between their meetings with Panathinaikos as they will start their domestic campaign on 20 August against Getafe at the San Mamés.