Bilbao vs Inter Baku by Shooter
They finish seventh in Spanish Liga and qualify for this Europa League.
La Liga season does not actually start until August 23, but Bilbao are training towards the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona, with the first leg due to take place at San Mames on August 14.
They had a busy pre-season so far opening their preparations with a 1-1 draw against Krasnodar, before losing 3-2 at Greuther Furth. Before that they have beaten Tijuana 2-0, and drawn games against Spanish teams Real Betis and Valladolid.
Valverde is satisfied after these last tests because key players such Aduriz, de Marcos and Beñat Etxeberria played very good football and they are fully fit for Europa League.
Atletic needs to get the best out of this match because the second leg could be tricky at "Inter Arena" sintetic grass pitch.
On the other side Inter Baku's journey in Europa League started back on July 2.
Zaur Svanadze's side beat Albanian team Laci on away goals in the first qualifying round, before 4-3 on aggregate in the next round but versus Bilbao it is a big ask for the club to advance any further into the competition in my opinion.
Inter Baku are a club that were only founded in 2004. They have twice won the Azerbaijani championship – 2007-08 and 2009-10 – but they have finished second in each of the last two seasons.
In Europa League last season, they were eliminated by Swedish side Elfsborg.
Bilbao will be without Iker Muniain, (knee injury) wich is not expected to return until December but Valverde has no other concerns, however, and could hand debuts to the new signings, Gorka Elustondo and Eneko Boveda.
Inter Baku can count on ex Blackburn Rovers star the Georgian Zurab Khizanishvili and Brazilian striker Dhiego Martins, who is also a new signing.
Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Iraizoz; Balenziaga, Laporte, San Jose, Elustondo; Rico, Benat; De Marcos, Susaeta, Gomez; Aduriz
Inter Baku possible starting lineup:
Agayev; Juanfran, Khizanishvili, Kasradze, Huseynov; Seyidov, Bayramov, Kvekveskiri, Aliyev; Martins, Sadigov
Play now US Players are welcome
|Bilbao -2.5||Bet365||2.20||4||2-0 LOST (-4 units)|