thumbnail Hello,
Live

UEFA Europa League

  • May 9, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Arena Naţională, Bucureşti
  • Referee: W. Stark
  • • Attendance: 52347
3
FT
0

Atletico Madrid - Athletic Bilbao Preview: Bucharest set for all-Spanish Europa League final

Atletico Madrid - Athletic Bilbao Preview: Bucharest set for all-Spanish Europa League final

Fernando Llorente - Athletic Bilbao

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

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

ATLETICO MADRID

Courtois
Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe
Suarez, Gabi
Adrian, Diego, Turan
Falcao
ATHLETIC BILBAO

Iraizoz
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.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Mar 29, 2014 Athletic Bilbao 1 - Atletico Madrid 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Spain - Copa del Rey ‎(ESPC)‎ Jan 29, 2014 Athletic Bilbao 1 - Atletico Madrid 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Spain - Copa del Rey ‎(ESPC)‎ Jan 23, 2014 Atletico Madrid 1 - Athletic Bilbao 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Nov 3, 2013 Atletico Madrid 2 - Athletic Bilbao 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Jan 27, 2013 Athletic Bilbao 3 - Atletico Madrid 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
28Thibaut CourtoisGoalkeeper
2Diego GodínDefender
-Filipe LuisDefender
20JuanfranDefender
23MirandaDefender
4Mario SuárezMidfielder
10Arda TuranMidfielder
14GabiMidfielder
22Diego RibasMidfielder
21AdriánStriker
9Radamel FalcaoStriker
25Sergio AsenjoGoalkeeper
6Antonio LópezDefender
15Álvaro DomínguezDefender
18Toto SalvioMidfielder
12Paulo AssunçaoMidfielder
6KokeMidfielder
-Pedro MartínStriker
1IraizozGoalkeeper
3AurtenetxeDefender
35AmorebietaDefender
15Andoni IraolaDefender
8IturraspeMidfielder
14SusaetaMidfielder
21Ander HerreraMidfielder
8Javi MartínezMidfielder
14Fernando LlorenteStriker
10Óscar De MarcosMidfielder
19MuniainStriker
13Raúl Fernández MateosGoalkeeper
6Mikel San José DomínguezDefender
23Borja EkizaDefender
11Igor GabilondoMidfielder
3Íñigo PérezMidfielder
2ToqueroStriker
11Ibai GómezStriker
Players to Watch
Radamel Falcao
Radamel Falcao
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The key for Atletico will be to get the ball to the lethal Colombian as much as possible, and, to do that, the Rojiblancos will need to match Athletic's intensity and work rate in midfield. The Basques' high tempo approach can make possession difficult to hold on to, so Falcao's job could be an old-fashioned one of holding the ball up and bringing his team-mates into play in the attacking third of the pitch.
Fernando Llorente
Fernando Llorente
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 14
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
It is his strength in the air that makes the 27-year-old Spaniard, linked with a host of big clubs across Europe, such a dangerous opponent. His movement and technical ability are other assets, as Sporting Lisbon found to their cost in the semi-final, meaning Diego Godin and Miranda will need to rely on much more than their aerial presence to keep Llorente quiet.
Prediction
The abundance of attacking talent on both sides should make for an entertaining final, but it is the team from Bilbao who hold a slight edge having rested almost their entire first XI at the weekend. Under Bielsa, the Basques have evolved into a sophisticated, coherent attacking force, and Atletico will need to find the energy to play a couple of hours of high tempo football without an equal share of possession to nick this.
Editor's Prediction
Bilbao 2

From the web