Eduardo Berizzo Trains With Three Center-Backs Ahead Of Monday’s Match Against Levante

Peru Nolaskoain Unai Nunez

Peru Nolaskoain and Unai Nuñez could feature in a five-man back line (AC)

Athletic desperately need a victory against Levante on Monday night but manager Eduardo Berizzo has a difficult decision to make. With Yuri Berchiche suspended and Mikel Balenziaga injured he has to find a solution at left-back. Over the last few days it looked like Cristian Ganea would have the chance to make his first start of the season, however it seems as though Berizzo has other plans.

During Sunday’s training session the team worked with a lineup utilizing three center-backs and two wing-backs. Ander Capa was on the right with Oscar de Marcos on the left while Unai Nuñez, Peru Nolaskoain, and Iñigo Martinez formed the center. Mikel San José, Beñat, and Iker Muniain continued as the midfield trio with Aritz Aduriz and Iñaki Williams as the two forward.

During his pregame press conference Berizzo highlighted the importance of controlling the ball, especially in the midfield, while also limiting Levante’s ability to counterattack. He would not comment on whether or not the team will actually use five defenders on Monday, but it seems very likely. Toto has always been unwavering in his system and lineup so changing the formation, even for one game, would be interesting.

On another note, Yuri Berchiche was actually called up to the squad for the match against Levante despite still being suspended for two more games. Reports have stated that the club has requested he be allowed to play against Levante and serve the suspension in another fixture. The appeal is unlikely to be accepted which would mean that the 28-year-old would watch the match from the stands.

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