La Liga

January 27, 2013


Athletic Bilbao

3 - 0

Atletico Madrid

La Liga

20:00 +00:00, January 27, 2013

San Mames, Spain

Simeone prepared for stern Athletic test

Team Stat Comparison

Athletic Bilbao Atletico Madrid
Matches Played 38 38
Table Position 12 3
Points 45 76
Goal Difference -21 34
Goals for * 1.2 1.2
Goals against * 1.4 1.0
Last 5 D-L-W-W-D W-D-L-W-D
Last 5 home L-W-D-L-W D-L-L-W-D
Last 5 away D-W-D-D-L W-W-D-W-D
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: Athletic Bilbao | Atletico Madrid

Competition Stats

Athletic Bilbao Atletico Madrid
Goals Aritz Aduriz 14 Radamel Falcao 28
Assists Ibai Gomez 9 Koke 9
Yellows Oscar de Marcos 14 Diego Costa 11
Reds Ander Herrera 2 Mario Suárez 2
Squads: Athletic Bilbao | Atletico Madrid

Next Matches

Athletic Bilbao Atletico Madrid
4/27 H: Sevilla FC 4/27 A: Valencia
5/2 A: Rayo Vallecano 5/4 A: Levante
5/11 H: Real Sociedad 5/11 H: Malaga
5/18 A: Almeria 5/18 A: Barcelona

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is paying little notice of Athletic Bilbao's lowly league placing heading into Sunday's clash at San Mames, where he expects his high-flying side to be given their toughest test of recent weeks.

Athletic gained widespread plaudits last season after reaching the finals of both the Europa League and Copa del Rey with their hugely entertaining brand of high-tempo attacking football.

However, this season has been a different story, with Athletic early causalities in both cup competitions and struggling at the wrong end of the Primera Division standings.

Nevertheless, Simeone is refusing to take Marcelo Bielsa's side lightly, pointing out they still boast most of the side that performed so well last season.

He said: "Looking beyond the league placings I see how they are playing and they are a dangerous team.

"I see the names they have who I'm sure will play, (Ander) Iturraspe, Ander Herrera, (Oscar) de Marcos, (Markel) Susaeta, (Iker) Muniain, (Aritz) Aduriz....who are all important players.

"It's a team who will give us a very difficult game, possibly the most complicated that we've had in recent times.''

Atletico cut Barcelona's lead at the top of the Primera Division standings back to eight points with last weekend's 2-0 win over Levante, but they lost star striker Radamel Falcao to a hamstring injury in that match which has ruled him out of the trip to Bilbao.

Athletic coach Bielsa admits it is good news for his side that the Colombia international will be absent but has warned that Atletico are no one-man team.

He said: "Falcao is very important for any team who has him, but Atletico have already shown that have good alternatives to replace him.''

While Falcao is definitely missing, it remains to be seen what role Athletic's own big-name striker Fernando Llorente will play in Sunday's clash after this week committing his future to Juventus.

Llorente agreed a four-year deal with the Serie A giants but will remain at Athletic until his contract runs out at the end of June before moving to Italy.

Bielsa does not expect this week's news to change anything with regards Llorente's commitment to the cause, with 27-year-old's desire to leave Athletic being made public last summer.

"It changes absolutely nothing,'' said Bielsa.

"We're happy for Llorente and sad for us because a member of the team is leaving, but we've known this since August.

"I don't think Llorente will give any less from now until the end of the season.''