Athletic Bilbao take a two goal advantage into the second leg v Schalke tonight and with four away goals banked for Athletic, Schalke need to score at least three times to have any chance of qualifying outright. Bielsa is not taking anything for granted though, vowing he will attack as per usual and look for Athletic Bilbao to win the game on the night. Having rested Herrera, Llorente and Muniain against Barcelona, that would back up his statement.
Athletic Bilbao have only failed to net once in their last fifteen at Sam Mames and that was against Valencia. Athletic will be without the suspended Iturraspe and main centre half Amorbieta. If Fernando Llorente scores at anytime (very likely), Ladbrokes will refund all losing first goal scorer bets as well as their £50 free bet new account offer. To take advantage of this, dutching Llorente and Huntelaar to score first is a good option.
Schalke managed to hammer Inter Milan of all clubs 5:2 away from home in the Champions League last season and they will be looking for a repeat performance. Schalke will need to attack from the first whistle and that will be very dangerous against a side like Athletic Bilbao who can hit with swift incisive counters. Schalke have conceded in each of their last nine away games and even worse for them is the news that they will be without their two first choice keepers and centre half Cristoph Metzelder.
Schalke hold firepower in abundance throughout their ranks with hitman Klaas Jan Huntelaar netting a whopping thirteen goals in eleven appearances in the Europa League this season and 23 from 26 in the Bundesliga. Raul returns to spain having scored a brace in the first leg. All in all I'm expecting a similar pattern to the first leg which produced six goals.
Athletic Bilbao v Schalke advised tips:
Tip 1: Both teams to score @ 8/13 (general)
Tip 2: Llorente / Athletic score win double @ 5/2 (Betfred)
Tip 3: LLorente to score a brace @ 6/1 (Betfred)
Tip 4: Klaas Jan Huntelar anytime scorer for Schalke @ 9/4 (Coral) and to score a brace @ 10/1 (Paddypower)
Betfred are offering their First goalscorer double delight on the Athletic Bilbao v Schalke match. If you back a winning first scorer and he goes on to score again, they will double the odds. If he scores a hattrick, Betfred will treble them!