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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
LEVANTE UD - ATHLETIC CLUB




Sábado 05/01/13 - 16:00
Valencia (Estadi Ciutat de Valencia)
Árbitro: Paradas Romero (Andalucía)

La Liga table
1. FC Barcelona 17 - 49
2. Atlético Madrid 17 - 40
3. Real Madrid 17 - 33
...
6. Levante 17 - 27
...
13. Athletic Club 17 - 21
...
17. Celta de Vigo 17 - 15
- - - - - - - - - -
18. Espanyol 17 - 15
19. Osasuna 17 - 14
20. Deportivo la Coruña 17 - 12

Recent form: Athletic Club (last five matches)
22/12 - Athletic Club - Real Zaragoza 0-2
15/12 - Real Mallorca - Athletic Club 0-1
12/12 - Athletic Club - SD Eibar 1-1 (Copa)
09/12 - Athletic Club - Celta de Vigo 1-0
06/12 - Athletic Club - Sparta Praha 0-0 (Europa League)

Recent form: Levante (last five matches)
20/12 - Rayo Vallecano - Levante 3-0
16/12 - Real Zaragoza - Levante 0-1
13/12 - Levante - Real Zaragza 0-1 (Copa)
09/12 - Levante - Real Mallorca 4-0
06/12 - Levante - Hannover'96 2-2 (Europa League)

Last five league meetings in Ciutat de Valencia
(Overall: 7 games, 2 victories, 2 draws, 3 defeats)
13/05/2012 - Levante - Athletic Club 3-0
18/12/2010 - Levante - Athletic Club 1-2
23/09/2007 - Levante - Athletic Club 1-2
21/01/2007 - Levante - Athletic Club 0-0
07/11/2004 - Levante - Athletic Club 1-0

Record with the referee (Paradas Romero - 8 matches)
Won: 4 - (50,00%)
Drawn: 3 - (37,50%)
Defeats: 1 - (12,50%)

Team news
Levante:
Not yet available

Athletic Club:
Noy yet available

Player to watch out for
Their strenght mainly is their team performance. Up front Martins and Iborra are the main threats while we of course know as well Barkero.

Conclusion
Last season Levante were among the big surprises in La Liga. With a sixth spot finish they performed better than ever and for the first time entered Europe where they even advanced from the group stage recently! In February they'll meet Olympiakos.
This season things are not different despite they lost a lot of players during the past summer. The sympathic frogs await us once again being in a lovely sixth league position. So far they've won five out of eight league home matches and just lost two. We should be warned...
Hopefully for some of our players the Basque NT match was a nice distraction from Athletic while other players got their chance to rest. It's two weeks ago since we've played an official match, hopefully enough time for everyone to calm down a bit and put things in a row.

My prediction: 1-1

Aupa Athletic! :fero:
 

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Line-up confirmed by Marcelo Bielsa:

Gorka Iraizoz

Andoni Iraola - Borja Ekiza - Aymeric Laporte - Óscar de Marcos

Carlos Gurpegi

Markel Susaeta - Ander Herrera - Iker Muniain - Ibai Gómez

Aritz Aduriz​

Bench:

GK Raúl Fernández
DF Jonás Ramalho
DF Fernando Amorebieta
DF Mikel San José
MF Ander Iturraspe
FW Igor Martínez
FW Gaizka Toquero
FW Fernando Llorente
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So Laporte passed Amorebieta and San José :thumbsup:, let's see if he's that far already.
I'm happy to see Gurpe as a DM, overall quite confident with this lineup, I'd have done exactly the same I think.
 

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I think having Gurpe fit and playing in that position is an improvement. Still, I not confident at all with our left flank, considering we are playing away. De Marcos plays well as leftback...normally only when it's a 3 CBs defence. In addition, Ibai and unexperienced Laporte don't seem the most prepared to help him defensively, Gurpe will have a lot of work there.

I know Levante only plays with one man upfront (BTW, think Barkero and Martins are out, these are great news as they probably are their best players) but I think Bielsa should recover at some point during this season the 3 CBs system that gave us such a good football last season (ie: Sánchez Pizjuan). For example:

Iraizoz

Ekiza - Amorebieta - Laporte

Iraola - Gurpegi - De Marcos

Herrera

Susaeta - Aduriz - Ibai​
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmm didn't realise that (De Marcos being a LB) when I put my previous post, I'd rather see Aurtenetxe there with De Marcos somewhere in midfield, Aurtenetxe is still injured?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
GOL! Brilliant cross by Iraola and Aduriz heads it in!

We're dominating, deserved lead so far! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Levante just missed a chance which was actually impossible to miss, great save by Gorka though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Laporte just got sent off, he let the ball slip through which made the Levante striker go to Gorka alone, before that could happen Laporte touched him, fair sending off, but quite sad as Laporte had a good game so far :(.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
****ing hell, few second before half time Iborra finds the net with a header, game over, probably. :thmbdown::mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We started very well, played good combination football and deserved the lead. Since then Levante came slightly better in the game and I think their equaliser was deserved too. After their equaliser they stopped really pushing and things were equal although Levante perhaps had a slight advantage. Then the Laporte incident happened followed by the goal, even before we could subtitute Amorebieta for Muniain. I think the game is over now.
Such a pity, we could've got at least a point from the match, Levante aren't that good either...
 

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That's one of the risks you take having an 18 year old centreback in an already instable defense, probably not even Amorebieta would have managed to get sent off and lose the game for us in that position. It's a shame because as you say Knoert he had a very good game until that incident and hopefully this will be a learning lesson for him.

We've had the great disadvantage of playing with eyes facing the low sun and now in the second half Levante won't have to do the same.

Aduriz is definately the player of the season so far. Susaeta is a disappointment; it's games like these that makes you wonder if every Athletic player has to play like Susaeta (without any physical contact with opponents at any price) to avoid conceding freekicks and yellow cards. Markels passiveness is atleast the last thing we need if we're going to make a serious attempts for a point here.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Honestly we're the better side so far in the 2nd half, Aduriz just came close after a great individual run. Aupa.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Levante just missed a one on one, great work from Gorka, their first chance of the 2nd half. We're having much more ball posession, for what it's worth.
 

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I was wrong about Susaeta! He's improved significantly together with the whole team. The worrying thing is that we only have one capable goalscorer on the pitch and from now Susaeta will take the freekicks and corners, that's usually bad news.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Goal, game officially over, shot from distance after a corner from El Zhar found the net. Pity.
 

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Brilliant shot from El Zhar... The hungover from last season is still there, it's unbelievable that this set of players, the best we've seen for so long, probably the fourth best squad in the league, are in 13th place, eliminated against the weakest of competition in Europe and in the cup.
 
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