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Spanish Primera BBVA

El Madrigal (ATT 16,000) 26th February 2012 - Kick off 11:00 Ref: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva

Villarreal Villarreal vs Athletic Bilbao Ath Bilbao

Villarreal 2

M Senna (11)
Nilmar (69)

ft

Ath Bilbao 2

F Llorente (62)
M Susaeta (66)

Villarreal v Athletic Bilbao preview

Last Updated: 25/02/12 11:16am

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Jose Molina: Calls for response

Jose Molina: Calls for response

Villarreal manager Jose Molina has underlined the importance of bouncing back from last weekend's 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Mallorca when they face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Sky Bet Odds

Villarreal 13/10, Draw 23/10, Athletic Bilbao 85/40. Bet here.

The Yellow Submarine currently sit just one place and three points above the relegation zone and Molina is acutely aware of the task facing his side against Champions League chasing Athletic.

He told the club's website: "The game on Sunday is the type of game we have had recently, against a team in very good form that will make things very difficult for us.

"Our players have worked hard during the week despite the blow we received in the last match against Mallorca."

Molina however isn't convinced that tiredness will factor in the result despite Athletic's exploits in the Europa League on Thursday.

"I don't know if you can accuse them of being tired, but what I do know is that they will come here with a lot of confidence because they are having a great season," he said.

"When one is doing so well you feel the physical effects less. The only way in which we can make them feel tired is if we play with a lot of rhythm and intensity."

Athletic defender Mikel San Jose is also adamant that playing 63 hours after the 1-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow will not unduly affect his side and is instead looking forward to ending a run of seven consecutive defeats at El Madrigal.

He told Marca: "We would like to have the maximum time possible to recover but from yesterday we have already been thinking about Villarreal and we have the capacity to play without any problems.

"Records are made to be broken and that is what we will try to do, whilst knowing that we are playing a great team. We have to set the rhythm of the game and have the ball more than they do because if we don't it will be difficult."

Marcelo Bielsa will be forced into at least two changes from Thursday night as Iker Muniain and Ander Herrera are both suspended, whilst Fernando Amorebieta is also doubtful with a foot injury.

Best bet: Villarreal HT/Draw FT: 12/1

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Matches

Table

Spanish Primera BBVA

Spanish Primera BBVA
Pos Team P Pts
1 Atletico Madrid 34 85
2 Barcelona 34 81
3 Real Madrid 33 79
4 Athletic Bilbao 34 62
5 Sevilla 34 59
6 Real Sociedad 34 54
7 Villarreal 33 52
8 Valencia 34 45
9 Levante 34 41
10 Espanyol 34 41
11 Rayo Vallecano 34 40
12 Celta Vigo 34 40
13 Malaga 33 38
14 Granada 34 37
15 Osasuna 34 35
16 Elche 34 35
17 Real Valladolid 33 32
18 Getafe 34 32
19 Almeria 34 30
20 Real Betis 34 22

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