Unai López In Line To Start Against Eibar With Beñat Out Sick

Unai Lopez

Unai López could return to the starting lineup against Eibar (MD)

Athletic have spent the entire international break preparing for Sunday’s match against Eibar, but Eduardo Berizzo will likely have to make some adjustments. Midfielder Beñat was admitted to a local Bilbao hospital on Thursday evening with an infection and high fever and is expected to miss the Derby at Ipurua. The 31-year-old has started the last five games and someone will need to take his place in the lineup.

During Thursday’s training session Unai López practiced in Beñat’s place and is now in line to start against Eibar. He’s only featured twice this season and hasn’t been in the lineup since the first game of the year against Leganés. Despite his lack of minutes, López has played at a high level when called upon and could add needed creativity to the midfield on Sunday.

There are still three days until the match against Eibar which means that Berizzo could look to change things up. The manager has other options, but for now all signs point to López being back in the starting lineup. Aritz Aduriz is also expected to make his first start since the season opener and the hope is that the striker will be able to help remedy the team’s lack of scoring. After suffering a 3-1 defeat to Real Sociedad in their previous match, Athletic are desperate for a win and haven’t lost to Eibar since August of 2015.

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