Previewing Paderborn vs Athletic Club

Ibai Gomez Arenas Celebrate

Athletic defeated Arenas 6-1 in their opening friendly (AC)

After an intense week of training in Germany, Athletic will play their first of two weekend friendlies on Saturday when they face off with Paderborn who earned promotion to the Bundesliga last season. The Lions won their friendly 6-1 against Arenas last weekend and this match will give Gaizka Garitano another important chance to see the team in action.

Defenders Iñigo Martinez and Iñigo Lekue will miss out on the friendly as they continue to recover from muscle injuries, but Beñat will be available. The midfielder was sidelined against Arenas due to discomfort but has trained normally all week. Garitano will have the rest of his players available and used Friday’s training session to test what will likely be the starting lineup against Paderborn.

Based on what was used during training, Athletic will field a mixed team on Saturday. Iago Herrerín is expected to start in goal with a defense of Oscar De Marcos, Dani Vivian, Yeray, and Mikel Balenziaga. Beñat and Mikel San José will partner in the midfield with Raúl García playing behind the striker. Gaizka Larrazabal and Iñigo Vicente will be on the wings to supply Kenan Kodro up front.

At this point in the summer, the most important thing is for the team to play well and for there to be no injuries. That being said, the Lions will also be hoping for a strong victory to continue building confidence. Garitano will also need to be careful with the workload as another friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach will take place the next day. The week of training in Germany has helped Athletic improve and the Zurigorri will have the chance to show it this weekend.

Probable Athletic Club XI: Iago Herrerín, Oscar De Marcos, Dani Vivian, Yeray, Mikel Balenziaga, Beñat, Mikel San José, Gaizka Larrazabal, Raúl García, Iñigo Vicente, and Kenan Kodro

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