Beñat Prados And Aitor Paredes Travel With Bilbao Athletic For Badajoz Match

Benat Prados

Beñat Prados made his Bilbao Athletic debut back in October (AC)

The Segunda B promotional playoffs will begin this weekend and Bilbao Athletic need to win just three straight games to earn promotion. Joseba Etxeberria’s side have been one of the best teams in the Third Division this season, but the manager will most likely have to make do without two keys players.

Oihan Sancet and Dani Vivian have both been called up for the first team’s match against Leganés on Thursday night. If Athletic are still in the race for Europe going into the final game of the season, the pair will likely be included in the squad once again on Sunday. For now, Etxeberria is preparing as if neither will be available.

“The coordination between the teams has been very good,” Etxeberria said during a press conference on Tuesday. “The first team is the priority. If Gaizka is going to count on them them we will count on Basconia players.”

With the two starlets expected to miss the game, Etxeberria has called up Beñat Prados and Aitor Paredes from Basconia. Both players made their Bilbao Athletic debuts earlier this season and could see important minutes on Saturday as the Kumeak take the field against Badajoz in the opening match of the playoffs. Jokin Ezkieta, Unai Vencedor, and Gorka Guruzeta have all been included in the Bilbao Athletic squad as well.

Aitor Paredes

Aitor Paredes could start in defense if Dani Vivian is unavailable (AC)

Meanwhile, Basconia have called up Unai Pérez and Ibon Aspizua from the Juvenil A team, as well as Nico Williams and Adrián Trespalacios who have already been training with the squad. Patxi Salinas will have a fully healthy team on Saturday against Portugalete with both Ruben Azcona and Marco Diliberto returning from injury.

This weekend will be an exciting and challenging time for Athletic. Along with the first team competing for Europe, both Bilbao Athletic and Basconia will be kicking off their respective promotional playoffs. “The priority is the first team and then Bilbao Athletic,” said Basconia manager Patxi Salinas during his press conference on Tuesday. Being without key players is never easy, but the three managers have been in constant communication since the restart.

Bilbao Athletic will be flying into Malaga on Thursday before holding two training sessions on Friday. The Kumeak will face Badajoz on Saturday while Basconia are in action against Portugalete. The first team will play their final game of the season on Sunday against Granada where European qualification could be on the line.

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