Our prediction for this Primera Division match:
Following a 1-1 draw with Getafe before the international break, Athletic Club will look to keep their Europa League hopes alive when they host Elche to their San Mames. The Lions are a real force to be reckoned with at home, with the team winning three of their last four home fixtures, but they will have to prove their worth on the field. Yeray Alvarez is sidelined through suspension, while both Dani Garcia and Julen Agirrezabala are likely to miss the game with injuries.
Los Franjiverdes, on the other hand, aim to make amends for a 1-0 loss to Valencia. Elche are safe for now, and seeing that Athletic Club have been impressive on home soil of late, we do not believe that the visitors are capable of grabbing something from Sunday’s clash. All Javier Pastore, Johan Mojica, and Antonio Barragan are banned for the match.
Highlighted Player (Iker Muniain):
Iker Muniain was once considered one of the most talented players in Spain, but he obviously failed to reach his full potential. Munian is an attacking midfielder, who is capable of playing as a forward as well and he began his youth career at Chantrea. In 2005 he made probably the best decision of his career as he joined Athletic Bilbao youth academy.
He made his debut for Athletic Bilbao on 30 July, 2009 in a 1-0 loss to Young Boys in the Europa League. Iker Munian impressed in the 2011/2012 La Liga campaign with the Lions, scoring nine goals in all competitions, but he failed to make a bigger progress. The Athletic Bilbao product has been struggling with injuries and it has to be noted that the injury he suffered against Sevilla on 4 April, 2015 could have ruined his career.
However, he returned to action on 20 December, but he was playing below expectations in the second half of the season. Iker Munian made his Spain debut on 29 February, 2012 in a friendly against Venezuela. La Roja won the match 5-0 and Munian came as a substitute in the 74th minute of the match.
Highlighted Team (Elche):
Established in 1923, Elche is a Spanish club that competes in La Liga. Los Franjiverdes welcome their rivals at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero, the stadium which can hold up to 33,732 spectators. The venue was opened on September 8, 1976.
Elche wear white shirts with green stripe and white shorts when playing at home, while black is the dominant colour of their away jersey. The club’s biggest success came in 1969 as Elche made it to the Copa del rey final. Los Franjiverdes faced Club Atletico de Bilbao in the Spanish Cup final, with the Basques winning the match by one goal to nil.
The likes of Mario Pasalic, Ivan Bolado, Garry Rodrigues, Goran Djorovic, Albert Nadj, Wakaso, Moha, Carlos Sanchez, Ioan Andone, Enzo Roco, Dominique Malonga, Richmond Boakye, and Sory Kaba are some of the notable players who were part of the team in the past. Elche have never represented Spain in European competitions.