Previewing Athletic Club vs Alavés: Preseason Friendly
Losing 3-1 to Logroñés on Saturday was not the way Athletic wanted to begin the preseason friendly schedule. Gaizka Garitano’s side put in a disappointing performance with 11 first team players unavailable, but will be hoping for a much better showing in Wednesday’s match against Alavés.
Athletic will host their Basque neighbors at Lezama in what will be a good test for both teams ahead of the new season. Alavés have already played two other friendlies, losing to Huesca and Osasuna last week, and are scheduled to kick off their La Liga campaign at home against Real Betis on 14 September.
Unlike the friendly against Logroñés, Athletic will have more key players available. Iñigo Martinez and Mikel Vesga both recently returned to training and could feature. Iñaki Williams, Iñigo Córdoba, Unai López, and Unai Núñez have all joined the squad on Monday after passing PCR tests, although it’s unclear if they will participate in the friendly at Lezama. Jokin Ezkieta will start in goal with Unai Simón currently on international duty with Spain.
As always, the most important thing in a summer friendly is to come away without any injuries. Even though the final score won’t matter the team will also be expected to have a good performance against a La Liga rival with the season set to start next week.
Projected Athletic Club XI: Jokin Ekzieta, Óscar De Marcos, Yeray, Aitor Paredes, Mikel Balenziaga, Unai Vencedor, Beñat Prados, Jon Morcillo, Iker Muniain, Iñigo Vicente, Asier Villalibre