Athletic Club – How Will They Perform in Spanish Top Tier In 2021/22?
Introduction of Athletic Club
Originating from the autonomous Basque Country, it is one of the three clubs in the Spanish top tier that has never been relegated, the other two being FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. While it is enough to explain the status of the club, there is a lot more to this Basque club than just being a club that has never been relegated.
It has won an overall of 8 league titles, with its last title in the 1983-84 season of Spanish top tier. It has also won an astonishing number of 24 Copa Del Reys and 3 Spanish Super Cups. In its successful years, Athletic Club had the services of one of the greatest of all times, Telmo Zarra, whose record of 38 goals in a season stood out for 60 years, after finally being broken by the probably the greatest of all time – Lionel Messi.
Team’s Performance in Last Year’s Competition
Last year was the 90th consecutive season for Athletic Club in the Spanish top tier, and it finished 10th in the table. Last year, the Athletic club also won its 3rd Spanish Super Cup after a fantastic run that ended with the club beating FC Barcelona in the final.
The Athletic club conceded a respectable number of 42 goals this season and ended the season with a goal difference of +4. Club’s top scorer was Álex Berenguer, who scored eight league goals, followed by Iñaki Williams with six goals.
Interestingly, Athletic Club’s first-team squad for the year 2021-22 consists of all Spanish players, just like it was the year before. Club has mainly relied on its academy, and this structure has helped the club deal with financial difficulties, and it is one of the most sustainable structures in Spanish football.
Here is the list of Athletic clubs first team players for the season 2021-22:
GK – Unai Simón FW – Jon Morcillo DF – Unai Núñez
DF – Iñigo Martínez DF – Yeray Álvarez MF – Dani García
FW – Iker Muniain FW – Iñaki Williams MF – Unai López
MF – Mikel Vesga FW – Ibai Gómez FW – Álex Berenguer
GK – Jokin Ezkieta DF – Iñigo Lekue MF – Oihan Sancet
DF – Yuri Berchiche MF – Óscar de Marcos MF – Oier Zarraga
FW – Asier Villalibre DF – Ander Capa FW – Raúl García
MF – Peru Nolaskoain DF – Mikel Balenziaga GK – Iago Herrerín
FW – Iñigo Vicente MF – Unai Vencedor
Challenges They Face This Year
The competition has gotten tough in the middle of the table over the last two to three years. What was once an easy task for the Athletic club over the past many years has now become somewhat tricky, and to finish in the upper half of the table will be an uphill task for the Athletic club in 2021-22.
Moreover, the Athletic club has failed to score as many goals as they would have liked, and this problem has persisted for the last 3 to 4 years. While there is no shortage of firepower in the front line, the lack of goals for the Athletic club can be attributed to the lack of creative midfielders who can create chances.
Furthermore, the club is also adopting its new manager after Garitano left the club after three years. Their new manager, Marcelino, is a serial winner, and the club’s success will depend upon how quickly and how well their players adapt to the game plan of Marcelino.
However, it is essential to know here that San Mames, the home ground of the Athletic club, has been a formidable thorn to swallow for all the clubs in the league for many years. Every year, they give a tough time to bigger clubs like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid, and they have rarely won there in recent years.
Players To Watch
Apart from the known names like Raul Garcia and Dani Garcia, Inaki Williams is a player to keep an eye on for this season. He has performed consistently for the club over the last few seasons, and he only seems to get better with time.
Club’s captain and legend, Iker Muniain, is another name to watch, as he has recently led the club to Supercopa success and plans to bring more glory to his boyhood club. Similarly, Sancet offers a tremendous attacking threat for the team and has always been in the eyes of opposition defenders. Apart from these players, players that can surprise us this season are Vencedor, Vivian, and Lekue.
Athletic Club Manager’s CV
Marcelino is a known name across European football, and his recent success with Valencia CF is no secret. Furthermore, he has also led the Athletic club to Supercopa in his first season at the club, thus cementing his position as one of the managers from the top draw.
Marcelino carries a straightforward reputation throughout his management career: compact 4-4-2, verticality in movement, and rapid transitions. We can see this happening at the Athletic club since he has taken over, and it has paid off well.
Furthermore, Marcelino’s midblock, wherever he has managed, is known to prohibit central progression. At Athletic Club, he poses to his forward line to completely block access to the opposition’s pivot, which allows his team’s midfielders to stay intact at their position.
The players in the club’s front line – both Raúl García and Iñaki Williams excel amazingly in these roles. Their excellent understanding of each other’s game allows them to react quickly to the opposition backline’s movement and thus maximize the space for one another.
Predicted Finish in League Table
With the new talent coming in ranks from its academy and Marcelino’s appointment as a manager last season, things are only looking good for the Basque club. While 10th has been their best finish in the previous four years, they are dreaming of a place in European football this year, and it is a very realistic target for the club to achieve.
- Our Predicted Position in The League Table at The End of The Season for Athletic Club: 7th
BK8 – Official Asian Betting Partner of Athletic Club
If you want to bet on the final league position of Athletic Club or on their every match, BK8 provides you with the best platform to bet. It is the official Asian betting partner for Athletic Club and many other teams from the top tier of Spanish football.
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