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19.10.2008 11:11

Bilbao needs goals and points

Jordi Clos

Failure to score and two defeats in a row mean that Bilbao are not in the best of form as they host Barça. Home advantage at San Mamés and the return of two key players are their main hopes.

After several poor seasons including nearly getting relegated, this campaign Bilbao has a team which should aspire to do better. It features a good mix of experienced younger players who have the ability needed to keep up the good form shown at the end of last season which saw the Basque outfit finish eleventh. The main problem is their inability to score enough goals.

Missing goals

The biggest headache for their manager Joaquín Caparrós this season is finding a replacement for Aduriz, who has gone to Mallorca. With no major reinforcements, the Basques are hoping that experienced youngsters like Javi Martínez and Llorente can step up to the plate in attack. For the moment, however, Bilbao’s goals for record (four in six games) is poor and the side has only one win under its belt.

Two defeats in a row

Bilbao have had a very uneven start to the season, with one win, two draws and three defeats. Defeat at home to Almeira (1-3) was followed by draws away at Malaga (0-0) and Recreativo (1-1) and a home win over Valladolid (2-0). However, they have lost their last two games, at home against Getafe (0-1) and away at Seville (4-0), leaving them in 15th spot and anxious to pick up three points a month after their last win.

Only one out

Playing at home in the Cathedral should help the players raise their game. Plus they have practically a full strength side available; with Etxeberría and Javi Martínez back, the only player out through injury is Ander Murillo.
Bilbao needs goals and points
A real Bilbao coach
Joaquín Caparrós is in his second season as manager of Athletic Bilbao, and under him the Basques appear to have recovered a sense of stability. Caparrós is using the same recipe that brought him success at Seville: hard work and using players from the academy .

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