Ernesto Valverde will have a new test this afternoon to measure the physical condition of his players and at the same time to see how they assimilate the ideas he intends to introduce for the new season, which starts for Athletic on August 15 with the Mallorca’s visit to San Mamés. After debuting last Sunday in a triangular match against Borussia Monchengladbach and Duisburg in which the coach arranged two different elevens against each of the rivalstoday thursday comes the second trial by fire for the lions, which the faces will be seen with the Bochum, who plays in the Bundesliga. After returning to the top flight in 2021, last year the germans finished the league in a more than acceptable thirteenth position and escaped relegation with a nine-point margin of the relegation play-off positions.
Starting at 6:00 p.m. at the Heidewaldstadion in Gutersloha city that is just over 15 minutes by road from where Athletic has established its headquarters in German lands and that is 120 kilometers from Bochum, which suggests that there will be a large group of fans of the German team, the lions will shape their second friendly match of the summer.
In principle, Unai Simon will cause lowbecause he has not yet trained with the rest of his teammates in Germany, although he has done solo goalkeeping work with coach Aitor Iru, and It remains to be seen if Iñigo Martínez dresses in shortsbecause on Tuesday he exercised at a slower pace than his teammates.
The participation of the goalkeeper and the central defender are the only doubts, since it is assumed that the other seven players who did not have minutes against M’Gladbach and Duisburg will have them against Bochum. Thus, the still unpublished Malcom Adu Ares, Luis Bilbao, Ander Capa, Mikel Balenziaga, Alex Padilla, Asier Villalibre and Gorka Guruzeta They will be able to premiere in the preseason.
Special mention deserve the cases of these last two, which go through ser the only center forwards in the squad who did not participate on Sunday in the triangle. Valverde opted first for Iñaki Williams and then for Raúl García for the nine position and both remained unmarked.
Among the issues to analyze will be the positions in which he employs, if he decides to give them minutes, to versatile footballers like Alex Petxarroman, Peru Nolaskoain and Jon Morcillo, whose future is unknownas well as to see where he places the oldest of the Williams, who has not played in a band for a long time, as well as if he joins Iker Muniain and Oihan Sancet in the trivote of the midfield.
A more rounded rival
Valverde will solve the doubts of the staff this afternoon, when he makes his intentions public both with the initial line-up and with the subsequent changes and tests. He will do it against a much more mobile teamor that Athletic, since Bochum he has already played seven pre-season friendlies since it premiered on June 25. The German team, made up of footballers without much international renown, will start the league on August 6 against Mainz 05, curiously rival this Saturday of the lions in their last friendly of the stage, and before that, on the 30th of this month, they will debut in the first round of the Cup against Viktoria Berlin, of the 3. Bundesliga.
This afternoon’s game He will be followed closely by Mikel González, the club’s director of sports development and loanswho arrived in Germany on Tuesday to take over from President Jon Uriarte.
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