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Fantasy Liga Txampion
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Discussion Starter #1
Players called-up by Ernesto Valverde:

Iraizoz, Iago.
Iraola, Laporte, Balenziaga, San José, Gurpegi.
Beñat, Iturraspe, Mikel Rico, Susaeta, De Marcos, Herrera, Morán.
Toquero, Aduriz, Ibai, Muniain.

Suspended: -
Injured: Albizua, Sola.
Out: Ekiza, Saborit, Etxeita.


Probable XI:

Gorka Iraizoz

Andoni Iraola - Carlos Gurpegi - Aymeric Laporte - Mikel Balenziaga

Ander Iturraspe - Mikel Rico

Markel Susaeta - Ander Herrera - Iker Muniain

Gaizka Toquero
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
6 points from real madrid if we win...


Direct rivals Getafe and Villarreal lost. The other 3 main rivals: Valencia faces Atlético (far from easy), Erreala receives Betis (easiest) and Sevilla receives the lions.
 

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Considering Undiano Mallenco will be the referee for the first time this season we can expect at least one red card and probably a defeat as well. Only two red cards in 15 league games, seems very rare for Athletic.

The injury clock is ticking on the defenders and Iturraspe, already some minor injuries to them and still Valverde insists on playing the same four with San Jose being the only back-up with trust. San José against Celta had fantastic distribution, Mikel Rico wasted countless amount of passes. I hope Sanjo enters central midfield at some point during the match. The other question for me is: who is expected to score out of the starters?

Hopefully we'll escape without any injuries but it's a real shame if we lose two straight games after the win over Barca with basically the same line-up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Rico's strenght and capacity to appear everywhere to pressure/cover teammates positions/score is necessary in the way Valverde wants us to play. In fact, probably the most important player right now as there is no sub of his characteristics (Gurpegi 10 years ago could have done it...). San José & Morán can cover Iturraspe's place, Beñat & De Marcos..Herrera's. But Rico's?

Everytime Rico is missing Valverde tries to cover that spot with Beñat and the team become extremely weak. In the current system I only see Beñat in Herrera's position..at least until he improves in strenght & resistance.

Currently, Mikel Rico -even with the poor passing- is a key player in the way Valverde makes Athletic play.

And yes, Undiano is an anti-Athletic, we have to be very superior to win today.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Little surprise in the lineup today with the entrance of Óscar de Marcos in the rightback position, Iraola must have some injury or sth! :eek:

Gorka Iraizoz

Óscar de Marcos - Carlos Gurpegi - Aymeric Laporte - Mikel Balenziaga

Ander Iturraspe - Mikel Rico

Markel Susaeta - Ander Herrera - Iker Muniain

Gaizka Toquero

Bench:

GK Iago Herrerin
DF Andoni Iraola
DF Mikel San José
MF Erik Morán
MF Beñat Etxebarria
FW Ibai Gómez
FW Aritz Aduriz
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good luck Óscar, he will have lots of work today and his last performances in the fullback weren't too good.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Fortunately Rakitic is out for this game, and surprisingly Gameiro starts from the bench.

Sevilla XI: Beto; Diogo, Cala, Fazio, Fernando Navarro, Mbia, Carriço, Vitolo, Reyes, Moreno, Bacca.


Erreala is beating 3-1 Betis, they are going to win.
 

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Rico's strenght and capacity to appear everywhere to pressure/cover teammates positions/score is necessary in the way Valverde wants us to play. In fact, probably the most important player right now as there is no sub of his characteristics (Gurpegi 10 years ago could have done it...). San José & Morán can cover Iturraspe's place, Beñat & De Marcos..Herrera's. But Rico's?
I agree that Rico is a warrior, very active and adds support probably better than anyone in the team. But I think players like that need rest more than others, we at least need to try options before building the team around someones efforts. Against Celta Toquero would even have been better than Rico as CM.

San José I think we can't really say if he's suited for Ricos role because he hasn't been given a chance there, however I think Sanjo is very similar to Javimar in his game, and when he plays with Itu I see a very good DM in Itu and a potential box-to-boxer in Sanjo. All in all this season Mikel Rico has mixed but has basically won some games for us, he's an important player.

Everytime Rico is missing Valverde tries to cover that spot with Beñat and the team become extremely weak. In the current system I only see Beñat in Herrera's position..at least until he improves in strenght & resistance.

Currently, Mikel Rico -even with the poor passing- is a key player in the way Valverde makes Athletic play.
I think De Marcos would be good in Ricos role, he did a lot of defensive work under Bielsa and has the endurance. I'm sure Beñat would have more freedom next to/behind Rico, he is a defensive playmaker, Rico is an everywhere player creating space and support for others. It all depends on whether Valverde starts to rotate the starters in the defensive half of the team.
 

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And there's the next defensive injury. De Marcos is however very fast and that will be a good asset on that position today, I think the central defenders that both have had recent injuries will have to play a very good game for us to have a chance.

Fragile defense and a combined 5 goals all season from the attacking starters against one of the best squads in the league, not a good sign.
 

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De Marcos at fault there by giving the ball away that led to the corner...the subsequent defending was embarrassing...that guy could have lit a cigar and still had time to score....this could end up being a crixket score.
 

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De Marcos almost gives away a goal and then a penalty from the resultant corner...having a howler in this unfamiliar position...rather play even SJ here.
 

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De Marcos mistake again almost leads to a goal after a ridiculous header..how long ffs..need a change right now?

We were having agreat period of play as well.

Great response since going 1-0 down..tremendous character.
 

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Needless free kick given away by Oscar...never easy playing out of position but you have to use your brain..it isn't ****ing rocket science after all...
 

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Referee having a great game from our point of view...fair and letting play flow..linesman made an excellent call on the OS for the free kick thankfully.
 
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