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Liga BBVA | Real Madrid - Athletic Bilbao

Amorebieta, almost certain to miss the game against Real Madrid

Bielsa confirmed that the Venezuela international "will almost certainly" be out for Saturday's clash in the Santiago Bernabéu with a hip injury.


Amorebieta, almost certain to miss the game against Real Madrid

Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Amorebieta is highly unlikely to be able to face Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabéu because of a thigh injury that was further aggravated on Thursday whilst playing against Nigeria for his national side, Venezuela.

It was confirmed by coach Marcelo Bielsa, who nevertheless included the player on his 19-man squad sheet.

Should the Argentinian trainer not be able to use Amorebieta, Mikel San José will be joined at the back by Borja Ekiza.

The Bilbao coach also said that Gurpegui will push slightly further forward to play a holding role, while Iturraspe will play in midfield to cover for the suspended Herrera. Muniain will leave the left wing to Ibai Gómez and is set to cover for another suspended player, De Marcos.

Therefore, if Amorebieta is unable to play, Bilbao will line up as follows: Iraizoz; Iraola, San José, Ekiza, Aurtenetxe; Gurpegui; Susaeta, Iturraspe, Muniain, Ibai Gómez; and Aduriz.

The substitutes will be made up of: substitute goalkeeper Raúl, outfield players Toquero, Llorente, Isma López, Castillo and two youth team players, Igor Martínez and Ramalho.

Bielsa: "We want to make our mark in the Bernabéu"

In a press conference held before their trip to Madrid, Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa stressed that his team would approach Saturday's game against Real Madrid with the aim of making their mark in the Santiago Bernabéu, despite their poor recent record.

"The statistics, that Athletic have lost the last seven matches at the Bernabéu, are just numbers and don't really tell the whole story. We'll try not to have to rely on refereeing decisions and naturally we'll be motivated to face a team like Madrid," Bielsa said.

"We respect them, but we also want to make our mark there because you don't always have the chance to play in such big games," he added.

Bielsa also broached the subject of referees: "Of course the referee is human and has to make decisions. Sometimes they're right, and other times they're wrong. But at the end of the day these things normally balance out over a season. If they don't then bad luck."

Cristiano Ronaldo also came up in the press conference as Bielsa explained that although every team knew about his quality, it was difficult to stop him because he remains such an effective player.

"We're just like the rest and we'll try to stop his runs". He also went on to say that José Mourinho's achievements "Spoke for themselves."

Estadísticas AS.com