Previewing Athletic Club vs Sevilla: La Liga Matchday 19

Inaki Williams Garitano

Iñaki Williams will likely play as a striker on Sunday (AS)

Athletic will play their second straight game against Sevilla on Sunday as the Lions play host at the San Mamés in La Liga action. Coming off of a disappointing 3-1 loss in the Copa del Rey first leg has the team eager to respond and take all three points to climb higher up the La Liga table. Manager Gaizka Garitano has spent the last few days preparing for this important math and has reiterated his belief that the team will have a good performance.

Pablo Machin will be without Nolito who scored the opening goal against Athletic on Thursday and has since been ruled out for three weeks with an injury. The manager is expected to rotate the lineup again and put his strongest available players back on the field in hopes of keeping pace at the top of the La Liga table. They’ve been one of the strongest teams in the league this season which will make things difficult for Athletic.

Garitano is facing another selection challenge. Raúl García, Aritz Aduriz, Iñigo Lekue, and Mikel Rico have all been out of training with various injuries and will not be able to play. Thankfully Yuri Berchiche and Beñat returned on Saturday and have been included in the squad. Several key players who were rested in the first meeting and will start on Sunday as it’s already been made clear that the La Liga campaign is the top priority.

Sunday’s match is going to be difficult, Sevilla are one of the best teams in the league and are in great form at the moment. That being said, Athletic have played well under Garitano and having the regular starters in the lineup, and possibly new signing Ibai Gómez, certainly gives the Lions a better chance. The Zurigorri are trying to make the San Mamés a fortress once again and a big win against Sevilla would go a long way towards helping put the season on the right track.

Projected Athletic Club XI: Iago Herrerín, Ander Capa, Yeray, Iñigo Martinez, Yuri Berchiche, Dani García, Beñat, Ibai Gómez, Iker Muniain, Iñigo Córdoba, Iñaki Williams

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