Atletico Madrid - Athletic Bilbao Preview: Bucharest set for all-Spanish Europa League final
European glory beckons in the Romanian capital on Wednesday night as the Primera Liga rivals face off to be crowned champions of the continent's second-tier club competition
By Karthick Arvinth
Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe
Adrian, Diego, Turan
Iraola, Martinez, Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe
De Marcos, Iturraspe, Herrera
Susaeta, Llorente, Muniain
Atletico Madrid defender Luis Perea has shaken off a thigh problem and is fit for the Europa League final clash with Athletic Bilbao.
Captain Antonio Lopez is likely to be available, but Portuguese full-back Silvio will not return until next season.
Gabi should start in midfield in place of the suspended Tiago, while Fran Merida is cup-tied.
Athletic coach Marcelo Bielsa will revert to his strongest line-up after resting a number of players at the weekend.
Defender Fernando Amorebieta has a minor calf problem and will be given a late fitness test, but strikers Iker Muniain and Fernando Llorente will return having been left out of the squad for the goalless draw with Getafe.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Atletico Madrid come into the final on an 11-game Europa League winning streak, since losing 2-0 at Udinese in the group stage.
- Los Colchoneros have never faced Athletic Bilbao in European competition before. Of the sides' 150 domestic league meetings, the capital club lead with 64 wins to Athletic's 59.
- Atletico are appearing in their eighth major European final. Their first appearance resulted in 1961-62 Cup Winners' Cup success against Fiorentina, while they also won the inaugural edition of the Europa League against Fulham in 2009-10.
- Radamel Falcao (pictured right) is level with Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar at the top of the Europa League scoring charts with 10 goals.
- Athletic Bilbao have won just four of their last 11 matches in all competitions (W4, D3, L4).
- The Basques beat their final opponents 3-0 at home in the league in October, but a Falcao double gave Atletico a 2-1 victory at the Vicente Calderon in March.
- Athletic have never won a European trophy. Their only previous European final brought defeat on away goals by Juventus over two legs in the 1977 Uefa Cup.
- Marcelo Bielsa was Diego Simeone's coach with Argentina from 1998 until the 2002 World Cup. The ex-Atletico midfielder made the last of his 106 international appearances under Bielsa in Sapporo, in a 1-0 defeat by England.
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Top 3 Predictions
Atletico Madrid 2-1 Athletic de Bilbao
- 18.51 %
Atletico Madrid 1-2 Athletic de Bilbao
- 18.41 %
Atletico Madrid 1-3 Athletic de Bilbao
- 7.12 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Nov 3, 2013||Atletico Madrid 2 - Athletic de Bilbao 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 27, 2013||Athletic de Bilbao 3 - Atletico Madrid 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Aug 27, 2012||Atletico Madrid 4 - Athletic de Bilbao 0|
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||May 9, 2012||Atletico Madrid 3 - Athletic de Bilbao 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 21, 2012||Atletico Madrid 2 - Athletic de Bilbao 1|
|Dec 7, 2013||UE Sant Andreu 0 - Atletico Madrid 4||ESPC|
|Nov 30, 2013||Elche 0 - Atletico Madrid 2||LIGA|
|Nov 26, 2013||Zenit 1 - Atletico Madrid 1||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Atletico Madrid 7 - Getafe 0||LIGA|
|Nov 10, 2013||Villarreal 1 - Atletico Madrid 1||LIGA|
|10||Óscar De Marcos||Midfielder|
|13||Raúl Fernández Mateos||Goalkeeper|
|6||Mikel San José Domínguez||Defender|
Times In WAT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed