Garitano keeps betting on aligning the hard core

The technician is not friend of changes except obligation. Balenziaga, Itu, Rico, Núñez, Lekue, Guruzeta, Nolaskoain and Susaeta, and also Unai López, now rescued, hardly count.

Gaizka Garitano is a man of customs. He does not like to vary their alignments, he is reluctant to upset his plans, unless injuries or sanctions force him to turn. After taking the baton of this Athletic has returned to corroborate and several players, except extreme need, are repeatedly in the stands or as much on the bench. The breadth of the staff, obviously inherited from the Berizzo era, has not twisted him in his routines.

In this context, and above all yet to be decided, with the seventh place as the most feasible to sneak into the European train, Gaizka Garitano he does not have several of the assets of the squad: Balenziaga, Iturraspe, Mikel Rico, Nunez, Lekue, Guruzeta, Nolaskoain and Susaeta, and also skirted Unai López, now rescued from the caboose due to injuries on the right wing of Óscar de Marcos and Ibai Gómez, and the absence in the anchor position to Dani García. In the defense his quartet is clear, except to replace Capa, and neither Balenziaga, who could play on the right side, nor Unai Núñez sneak into his line of defenders, and much less Nolaskoain, who throws a cable to the subsidiary. In the midfield, the trio of medoscentros is fixed, with no options for Iturraspe, Rico and Unai López, rescued at the last minute and heeled to the right flank. Up, waiting for Aduriz to take the post of 9, Guruzeta is corner to the subsidiary, Kodro appears in the final minutes and Raul Garcia and Muniain are the ones who patch the vanguard with Iñaki Williams himself.


With this panorama they end contract on June 30 several of those involved in this chain of preferences of the coach: Iturraspe, Mikel Rico, Susaeta, Aduriz, Remiro, off the list and serve, and assigned Etxeita (Huesca) and Sabin Merino (Leganés). Only Aduriz and perhaps Etxeita have the door open to continue in the race in Bilbao.

Three phases if it is seventh in Liga

On July 25, it could be the case that the lions, if they are finally in the seventh place, will celebrate the first of the three previous ones planned. A fact that forces to significantly advance the start of the preseason and that would condition, in addition to the stage, the configuration of the template in number and mode. In recent years, Athletic has already been involved in these tasks. In the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons they played two phases, struggling against Zilina and Panatinaikos, respectively. To lend a hand in the preseason will be added the yielded Andoni Lopez (Almería), Ganea (Numancia) and Vesga (Leganés), the three with a contract, plus the puppies Vencedor, Sancet and Iñigo Vicente, plus Larrazabal and Villalibre, in case of that renovate.

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