Ander Capa Suspended For Barcelona Clash After Booking Against Real Sociedad
Athletic fell 2-1 to Real Sociedad in Saturday’s Basque Derby in what was the team’s first loss under Gaizka Garitano in league play. Two mistakes in the first half saw the Lions down 2-0 before Raúl García was able to pull one back in the 82nd minute. Athletic fought for an equalizer which never came and now they have to quickly turn their attention to Sunday’s opponent, FC Barcelona.
The Derby loss was bad news for more than one reason. Not only did Athletic fail to pick up any points, Ander Capa was also shown a yellow card which means that he will miss the game against Barcelona. Capa has been one of the most important players in the team since Garitano took over as manager and Oscar De Marcos, who missed the Derby due to suspension himself, will have to feature as the starting right-back.
With De Marcos returning to defense Garitano will yet again have to make a decision as to who will start on the right wing. Ibai Gómez featured in place of De Marcos against Real Sociedad, but the team played much better once Raúl García came into the game. Markel Susaeta will also be an option for the manager who will need to put together the perfect game plan to get a positive result against the Catalans.
One thing working in Athletic’s favor is the fact that their game against Barcelona comes in between two Copa del Rey matches between the Blaugrana and Real Madrid. Ernesto Valverde will likely need to rest some key players at the San Mamés which would help Athletic’s chances against the league leaders. Regardless, it’s going to be a difficult game and other players will need to step up with Ander Capa unavailable.