Dani Vivian Set To Make Bilbao Athletic Return Against Alavés B
Bilbao Athletic put an emphatic end to 2019 with a 2-0 win over Real Sociedad B just before the Christmas break. Not only was the result a massive victory on the road against a rival, but it was also the team’s first win in five league games. Joseba Etxeberria’s side had struggled for form throughout December and are now eager to kick off the new year with another important three points.
Saturday’s match against Alavés B presents another opportunity for the Kumeak who will once again have to overcome the absence of key players. Ewan Urain and Julen Bernaola are still recovering from surgeries while Oihan Sancet will be serving a suspension for a red card. Asier Córdoba is also unavailable due to a muscle injury, though there will be some good news.
After missing the past few months with an ongoing back ailment, Dani Vivian has been training normally with the team and is expected to be back on the field tomorrow according to Javier Beltrán of El Correo. The defender will bring much-needed stability to the back line while also providing another threat from set-pieces. Winger Juan Artola will return to the lineup as well after serving a suspension against Real Sociedad B.
Other changes to the team are unlikely although Etxeberria will have to choose a partner for Vivian if the 19-year-old makes the starting lineup. Jon Sillero was the selection at the start of the season and could retain his place in the eleven. Gorka Guruzeta will continue to lead the attack with Jon Morcillo and Artola on either side while Unai Vencedor and Oier Zarraga will be counted on to control the midfield.
Despite sitting in the middle of the table, Alavés have been a dangerous team this season, though they have struggled to defend at times. Playing at Lezama will give Bilbao Athletic a significant advantage and anything less than a victory will be seen as a disappointing result to start the year.