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UEFA Europa League

  • 26 April 2012
  • • 20:05
  • • Estadio San Mamés, Bilbao
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 37000
3
FT
1

Athletic Club win Aggregate 4 - 3

Athletic Bilbao - Sporting Lisbon Preview: Marcelo Bielsa's men looking to overcome one-goal deficit at San Mames

The Basque side suffered a 2-1 defeat in the first leg last week and will try to secure a victory which will see them progress to the tournament decider in Bucharest

  PROBABLE LINEUPS
ATHLETIC BILBAO


Iraizoz
Iraola, Javi Martinez, Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe
Iturraspe
Toquero, Herrera
Susaeta, Llorente, Muniain
SPORTING LISBON


Patricio
Pereira, Xandao, Polga, Insua
Carrico
Schaars, Matias
Izmailov, Van Wolfswinkel, Capel

Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa has been boosted by the news that Javi Martinez is available after he missed the match at the Estadio de Alvalade through suspension. Iker Muniain is expected to feature in the starting XI despite sitting out the weekend contest against Racing Santander because of an eye inflammation.

Oscar de Marcos, on the other hand, will not take part in the match because of suspension, with Gaizka Toquero tipped to deputise for him in midfield.

Sporting coach Ricardo Sa Pinto will not be able to count on Elias, who is ineligible in the Europa League, and on Fito Rinaudo and Alberto Rodriguez, both of whom are injured. Matias Fernandez missed the club's last two games, but the Chilean is ready to feature from the start.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Athletic Bilbao have won all of their home matches played against Portuguese opposition.
  • Sporting Lisbon, on the other hand, are yet to record a victory in European competitions on Spanish soil.

  • The Liga club are the second most prolific side still in contention in the Europa League, with 25 goals, six more than Sporting.
  • Prior to the first leg, the last time these two clubs faced each other dated back to 1985-86, when Sporting came out on top 4-2 on aggregate in the Uefa Cup third round.
  • Sporting have won just one of their last 10 European games on the road, drawing four and losing five of the remaining nine.
  • If Marcelo Bielsa's side progress, they will meet either Atletico Madrid or Valencia in an all-Spanish final.

Players to watch

Llorente

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Spanish striker is the club's top scorer in the competition, with six strikes, and will be eager to return to the goals on Thursday after drawing blanks in the last two matches.

M. Izmailov

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Russian ace is without a doubt the most influential piece in Sporting's midfield and he is often seen pulling the strings in the centre of the park. Athletic will also have to be wary of his long shots.

Editor's Prediction

Sporting were very disappointing at the weekend and their defensive frailties may become even more exposed against a well-organised Athletic side who will not want to waste this chance to make history and try to win their first-ever European title.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Athletic Club

Sporting CP

Wins
1
0
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Athletic Club Bilbao ATH
Athletic Club Bilbao Athletic Club
Draw
Sporting Clube de Portugal SCP
Sporting Clube de Portugal Sporting CP
73%

Top 3 Predictions

Athletic Club Bilbao ATH
3 - 1
Sporting Clube de Portugal SCP
Athletic Club Bilbao ATH
2 - 0
Sporting Clube de Portugal SCP
Athletic Club Bilbao ATH
2 - 1
Sporting Clube de Portugal SCP

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