Aritz Aduriz Set To Return To The Starting Lineup Against One Of His Favorite Victims
Aritz Aduriz’s season has not gone according to plan. The striker started the first game of the year against Leganés and had to be taken off in the second half due to a hamstring injury. He would go on to miss a handful games and finally returned to training a few weeks ago. Despite being back to full health, the coaching staff has been cautious with the 37-year-old who has yet to start another game. That may be about to change.
In training this week Aduriz has functioned as the starting striker with Iñaki Williams back on the wing. After competing with Euskal Selekzioa on Friday it looks as though Aduriz is finally ready to play significant minutes again and all signs point to him being back in the lineup on Sunday when Athletic travel to Ipurua to take on Eibar. The Lions have missed Aduriz’s lethality in front of goal and there is no denying that he tends to pick up his level against Eibar.
Eibar haven’t been in La Liga very long, but they are already one of Aduriz’s favorite victims. The 37-year-old has scored five goals against the Armeros in only 9 games. It isn’t his highest tally for sure, but scoring in more than half of the matches against a specific opponent is impressive. Interestingly, Aduriz has only been booked once against Eibar which is surprising for such an aggressive forward.
Basque Derbies are always special, but Sunday’s match will be even more emotional for a few Lions. Dani García and Ander Capa will both be making their return to Ipurua since leaving Eibar over the summer. Yuri Berchiche also spent time at Eibar and really established himself at the club. Eibar haven’t beaten Athletic since August of 2015 but Sunday’s match will be extremely difficult for both sides. Having Aritz Aduriz back in the lineup could be the difference maker.