Athletic Bilbao Vs. Deportivo La Coruña: Pre-Match Primer

Athletic Bilbao had some fitness issues going into the winter break and not all of their players were able to fully recover during the lay-off. As a result, their lineup has an interesting look to it with a couple of glaring holes. Midfielder Javi Martinez, a staple in their lineup, is not in the 18 man side. Regular starting central defender, Fernando Amorebieta, starts the game on the bench. For Deportivo La Coruña, they are notably missing Andres Guardado, whose injury troubles continue.

Athletic Bilbao lineup (4-4-2 diamond): Iraizoz ; Ustaritz, San Jose, Castillo, Iraola ; Grupegui, Orbaiz, Lopez, Muniain ; Llorente, Toquero

Deportivo La Coruña lineup (4-5-1): Aranzubia ; Oliva, Lopo, Colotto, Pablo ; Laure, Dominguez, Perez, Rodriguez, Adrian ; Nouioui

Athletic's lineup could appear as a 4-3-3, but my best guess is that Iker Muniain will be playing just behind the two strikers, not exactly as a forward player himself. If they do go 4-3-3, Muniain and Toquero would be the more wide players on either side of Llorente with Orbaiz and Lopez in front of Gurpegui. Depor's lineup is pretty straight forward and their main challenge will be defending well without leaving Lassad Nouioui isolated up top with no support.

The game has already kicked off in the Basque Country and we'll have running updates throughout the match.

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