Our prediction for this Primera Division match:
Athletic Club and Espanyol square off against each other at Estadio San Mames on day 4 of the new La Liga campaign. The Lions aim to build on back-to-back wins over Valencia and Cadiz, and the bookies see them as favourites to win Sunday’s showdown. Inaki Williams should continue to lead the line for the Basques despite the fact that his replacement Gorka Guruzeta scored a brace in the 4-0 crushing over Cadiz.
Los Periquitos, on the other hand, experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid, and given their shaky defence, we do not believe that they are capable of shocking Athletic at San Mames. Both Sergi Gomez and Benjamin Lecomte are banned for the match, while defender Adria Pedrosa remains in the recovery room. Pol Lozano is a major doubt, and he will be assessed ahead of the kick-off.
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 (Espanyol):
Espanyol are a Catalan club that plays in Spanish La Liga. Espanyol were founded in 1900 and their original name was Sociedad Espanola de Football. In 1901 the Catalan club changed its name to Club Espanol de Futbol. Los Periquitos used to play in bright yellow shirts in the past, but current colour of the team’s home kit is blue and white.
Espanyol’s fiercest rivals are Barcelona and the two teams face each other in the Catalan derby (Derbi barceloni). Espanyol have always been in Barca’s shadow, but it has to be noted that los Periquitos have won four Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup trophies).
The likes of Raul Tamudo, Jose Maria, Antonio Argiles and Mauricio Pochettino are players with most appearances for the Catalan outfit. Espanyol play their home games at Estadio Cornella-El Prat and the capacity of the stadium is 40,500. Los Periquitos have never participated in the Champions League.