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Fernando Llorente reckons his Athletic Bilbao team are the favourites to win the Basque derby against rivals Real Sociedad.

Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente has declared that his side are favourites to triumph in the Basque derby against Real Sociedad on Sunday evening.

The fixture makes a welcome return this weekend after the San Sebastian side’s period in the Segunda Division, and Llorente reckons that, although the home fans will have desire to win after a three-year absence, Los Leones remain the team most likely to collect the points.

He told the media today: “They have not had this fixture for three years, and we knew that this week would be special because a derby is always very special.

“Perhaps an excess of enthusiasm on their part can take its toll. They are doing quite well since they returned to the top division, and at home remain strong and are a seasoned team. I expect a match with a lot of intensity.

“The favourites for the match however are us, because we have a great team that I trust. We need the three points because we want to be in the Europa League qualifying positions, which is our goal for the end of the season."

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