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 Lisbon last week and will try to secure a victory which will see them progress to the tournament decider in Bucharest
By Luis Mira
Iraola, Javi Martinez, Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe
Susaeta, Llorente, Muniain
Pereira, Xandao, Polga, Insua
Carrillo, 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. Marat Izmailov will have to serve a one-match suspension after reaching his yellow card limit.
|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.
- The Spanish club are the only side in the semi-finals who have never won an European competition.
- If Marcelo Bielsa's side progress, they will meet either Atletico Madrid or Valencia in an all-Spanish final.
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Top 3 Predictions
Athletic de Bilbao 3-1 Sporting CP
- 20.51 %
Athletic de Bilbao 2-0 Sporting CP
- 17.16 %
Athletic de Bilbao 2-1 Sporting CP
- 11.6 %
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||26 Apr 2012||Athletic de Bilbao 3 - Sporting CP 1|
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||19 Apr 2012||Sporting CP 2 - Athletic de Bilbao 1|
|Athletic de Bilbao|
|19 May 2013||Zaragoza 1 - Athletic de Bilbao 2||LIGA|
|11 May 2013||Athletic de Bilbao 2 - Mallorca 1||LIGA|
|3 May 2013||Celta 1 - Athletic de Bilbao 1||LIGA|
|27 Apr 2013||Athletic de Bilbao 2 - FC Barcelona 2||LIGA|
|21 Apr 2013||Deportivo La Coruña 1 - Athletic de Bilbao 1||LIGA|
|Returns:||Bilbao £16.20||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Returns:||Draw £130.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Sporting £670.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|3||Jon Aurtenetxe Borde||Defender|
|9||Fernando Llorente Torres||Striker|
|13||Raúl Fernández Mateos||Goalkeeper|
|6||Mikel San José Domínguez||Defender|
|9||Ricky van Wolfswinkel||Striker|
Times In IST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed