Ibai Gómez Expected To Miss Real Valladolid Clash With Muscle Injury
Athletic are determined to put an end to their two game losing streak and will have the opportunity to pick up three important points on Sunday with Real Valladolid visiting San Mamés. The team has had two weeks to prepare for the match over the international break, but it won’t be a simple fixture. Valladolid have been a strong team through the opening eight games of the season and Gaizka Garitano won’t have the entire squad available.
Yuri Berchiche’s absence was expected. The 29-year-old dislocated his shoulder in the loss to Valencia and hasn’t been able to return to regular training which means that Mikel Balenziaga will start at left-back. Meanwhile, the manager will also be without Ibai Gómez who hasn’t trained at Lezama due to an undisclosed muscle injury.
Gómez missed last week’s friendly in Barakaldo with discomfort but seemed to be fine as he trained normally on Monday. However, the injury forced the winger to leave Tuesday’s session early and he was sidelined once again on Friday. Even if Gómez is able to return to training on Saturday or Sunday it’s highly unlikely that Garitano will take any risks this weekend.
With Gómez essentially ruled out for the clash with Real Valladolid, Garitano will have several options to choose from. Both Oscar de Marcos and Gaizka Larrazabal could start on the right-wing while Iker Muniain could do the same with Iñigo Córdoba taking his place on the left side of the attack. Regardless of who starts, Athletic have been great at San Mamés this season and will need another good performance to keep pace with the European zone of the table.