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Athletic set out to finish off Schalke

Published: Friday 30 March 2012, 6.05CET
Athletic Club will look to eliminate FC Schalke 04 in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, having accounted for English giants Manchester United FC in the round of 16.
Athletic set out to finish off Schalke
Athletic celebrate their win at Schalke ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

AthleticSchalke

Goals scored28
 
25
Attempts on target81
 
67
Attempts off target100
 
81
Corners96
 
74
Offsides37
 
15
Fouls committed219
 
132
Yellow cards39
 
22
Red cards1
 
1

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Published: Friday 30 March 2012, 6.05CET

Athletic set out to finish off Schalke

Athletic Club will look to eliminate FC Schalke 04 in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, having accounted for English giants Manchester United FC in the round of 16.

Two goals up from the first leg, Athletic Club will look to eliminate FC Schalke 04 in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, having accounted for English champions Manchester United FC in the round of 16.

• Fernando Llorente (21, 73) struck either side of goals from Raúl González (22, 59) to leave it at 2-2 with 17 minutes to go, but Óscar de Marcos (81) and Iker Muniain (90+3) struck late on to give the visitors a two-goal lead to take to Bilbao.

Previous meetings
• This tie is the sides' first meeting in UEFA club competition.

• Athletic's seven meetings with German sides have ended W2 D1 L4 (W1 D1 L1 at home).

• Schalke have played 22 UEFA games against Spanish sides with the record W7 D6 L9 (W2 D4 L5 in Spain). They have not won in their last six games in Spain since a 3-0 win at RCD Espanyol in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup round of 32.

• Schalke have played Spanish opponents in a previous quarter-final in this competition, beating Valencia CF 3-1 on aggregate en route to winning the 1996/97 UEFA Cup.

Match background
• Athletic have reached the quarter-finals for the first time since the 1976/77 season, when they went on to lose to Juventus on away goals in the two-legged final.

• UEFA Champions League semi-finalists last season, Schalke last played in the quarter-finals in this competition in 2005/06, beating PFC Levski Sofia en route to losing to eventual winners Sevilla FC in the semi-finals. Athletic defender Aitor Ocio played for Sevilla in that tie.

• Athletic are unbeaten in seven European home fixtures – four wins and three draws – since a 3-0 loss to SV Werder Bremen in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Schalke did not concede a goal on their travels in the group stage, but have not won since away from home, drawing 1-1 at FC Viktoria Plzeň in the round of 32 then losing 1-0 at FC Twente in the round of 16.

Team facts
• Athletic are at their most dangerous between the 61st and 75th minutes, when they have scored seven of their 22 goals since the start of the group stage.

• Andoni Iraola, Ander Iturraspe, Markel Susaeta and Iker Muniain have played in all 11 of Athletic's games since the start of the group stage; Julian Draxler has been the only ever-present for Schalke.

• Having scored hat-tricks in the last two rounds, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is this season's top scorer in the UEFA Europa League with nine goals. Of the strikers left in the competition, Falcao is his nearest rival with seven. The Colombian set a competition record last season, scoring 17 goals as he won the trophy with FC Porto.

• Llorente is now the third highest active goalscorer in the competition with six strikes.

• Schalke boast Spanish talent in the form of defender Sérgio Escudero (Real Murcia 2008-10), José Manuel Jurado (Real Madrid CF 2005-06, Club Atlético de Madrid 2006-10, RCD Mallorca – on loan – 2008-09) and Raúl González (Real Madrid 1994-2010).

• Schalke defender Christoph Metzelder spent three seasons in Spain with Real Madrid (2007-10), while goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand was at Valencia (2007-08).

• Hildebrand turns 33 on the day of the second leg; he was taken off at half-time in the first leg against Athletic due to injury.

• Huntelaar was a team-mate of Metzelder's at Madrid in 2009, when he scored twice against Athletic in a 5-2 away win.

• Athletic's coach is former Argentina defender Marcelo Bielsa, who briefly led Espanyol in 1998 before taking charge of Argentina (1998–2004) and Chile (2007–11). This is his first season as a player or coach in UEFA club competition.

• Huub Stevens replaced Ralf Rangnick as Schalke coach after matchday one. The Dutchman coached Schalke from 1996 to 2002, winning the 1997 UEFA Cup and German Cups in 2001 and 2002. Originally a defender for Fortuna Sittard and PSV Eindhoven, the Dutchman was named by fans as the coach of Schalke's team of the century in 1999.

Final rounds
• The winners will take on Sporting Clube de Portugal or FC Metalist Kharkiv in the semi-finals, playing the second leg at home. Whoever prevails in that tie will be the nominal away side in the final in Bucharest's National Arena on 9 May.

• Athletic have never played in Bucharest, while Schalke won on their only previous visit to the Romanian capital. The German club also played against FC Steaua Bucureşti in this season's group stage, but the away game took place in Cluj-Napoca.

• Schalke have never met any of their potential semi-final opponents.

• Schalke could meet German rivals Hannover 96 in the final, or two Spanish sides with which they are also familiar. Their five European games against Atlético ended W1 D1 L2, while their six matches against Valencia ended W2 D3 L1.

• There was an all-German UEFA Cup final in 1979/80, when Eintracht Frankfurt got the better of VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach on away goals.

• Athletic's only previous meeting with Sporting ended in a 4-2 aggregate defeat in the 1985/86 UEFA Cup third round.

• Athletic have never met any of their potential final opponents in UEFA competition, though they have seen plenty of Atlético and Valencia in the Spanish League.

• There was an all-Spanish UEFA Cup final in 2006/07, when Sevilla beat Espanyol on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

Competition statistics
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here:
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1750416.html

Last updated: 19/04/12 21.09CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000275/match=2007473/prematch/background/index.html#athletic+host+schalke

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