09/20/2021 at 10:00 PM CEST
Athletic-Rayo in San Mamés is a happy reunion for the Bilbao club with one of the great names in its recent history, Andoni Iraola, now coach of the franjirrojo team, and also with the Madrid team, much loved in Bilbao, after his return to Primera.
Without any doubt, the name that marks the meeting is Iraola, who a good part of the Bilbao fans see in a short time sitting on the bench of ‘La Catedral’ to defend the clean, technical and creative football that made him win the affection of his hobby.
But not only the game has remained Iraola. Also the statistics, since with 510 he is the fifth player with the most matches in the entity and one of the five players who has exceeded half a thousand official matches. They only surpass him Jose Angel Iribar, Txetxu Red, Joseba Etxeberria and Markel Susaeta.
The reunion will be happy to start because both Athletic and Rayo are in good shape and at the top of the table with five league games played.
Athletic remains undefeated after two wins and three draws. The last one, a 0-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano that could have been a victory had he hit the mattress goal Iñaki Williams and Asier Villalibre in very clear occasions to mark.
Although what keeps the undefeated rojiblanco is his defensive efficiency. The team of Marcelino Garcia Toral has only conceded one goal in the five games, the one scored by Memphis Depay from Barcelona in the capital of Biscay.
The ‘lions’ have overcome with integrity to casualties such as those of the injured Yuri berchiche and Yeray Alvarez, who have not yet played, already different physical setbacks of Oscar de Marcos, Ander Capa and Oihan sancet, which started as a headline.
The unexpected Iñigo Lekue and the young man Daniel vivian and the most accredited Mikel Balenziaga They are responding and I’m sure they will be tomorrow at eleven if Marcelino it does not rotate.
If you do, they could come back From Marcos or Cap, and even have a chance Nuñez next to Iñigo Martinez. They could also go into double pivot Mikel Vesga or Oier Zarraga, and in attack Nico Williams, Villalibre or Black pudding to refresh the usual quartet Berenguer–Muniain–Raul Garcia–Williams.
If the Asturian coach does not believe that his regulars should still have a rest, the eleven is clear and it will be the one from the last days, with which he is very happy.
In front will be Rayo, who is starring in an excellent start to the season with seven points added in five games and two victories by a landslide against Granada and Getafe. The last one, in addition, was accompanied by the media debut of the Colombian Radamel Falcao, who scored a goal and participated in another.
The presence of the Colombian in the starting eleven is one of the unknowns that he maintains Iraola, who could choose to start with him and with Randy nteka or continue betting, for now, only on the French.
The one who won’t be sure is the extreme Martin Merquelanz, which is injured, so on the right side it is likely to continue Isi Palazon while on the left the question is whether he will return Alvaro Garcia or will Portuguese follow Baby.
Athletic club: Unai Simón; Lekue, Vivian, Íñigo Martínez, Balenziaga; Berenguer, Vencedor, Dani García, Muniain; Raúl García and Iñaki Williams.
Vallecano Ray: Dimitrievski; Balliu, Catena, Saveljich, Fran García; Pathé Ciss, Comesaña; Isi Palazón, Trejo, Álvaro or Baby; and Nteka.
Referee: Munuera Montero (Andalusian Committee).
Stadium: San Mamés.