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Athletic v AZ background

Published: Thursday 3 December 2015, 10.49CET
Top meets bottom in Group L as an Athletic side already through to the round of 32 and boasting the top scorer in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage welcome AZ to Bilbao.
Athletic v AZ background
UEFA Europa League top scorer Aritz Aduriz ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

AthleticAZ

Goals scored23
 
8
Possession (%)51
 
49
Total attempts157
 
77
on target77
 
35
off target52
 
26
blocked28
 
16
against woodwork3
 
4
Corners73
 
25
Offsides35
 
13
Yellow cards26
 
11
Red Cards0
1
Fouls committed154
 
93
Fouls suffered126
 
64

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)

Standings

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Last updated: 29/11/2017 12:54 CET
Published: Thursday 3 December 2015, 10.49CET

Athletic v AZ background

Top meets bottom in Group L as an Athletic side already through to the round of 32 and boasting the top scorer in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage welcome AZ to Bilbao.

Athletic Club have won UEFA Europa League Group L thanks to their head-to-head superiority over FK Partizan, while matchday six visitors AZ Alkmaar are destined to finish bottom.

Previous meetings
AZ secured a 2-1 win – their only Group L victory to date - when the teams met for the first time in UEFA competition on matchday two.

• Athletic's only previous encounter with Dutch rivals was a 3-2 aggregate defeat by AFC Ajax in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup first round.

• AZ's ten games against Spanish sides have ended W5 D3 L2 (W2 D1 L2 in Spain).

Form guide
• Athletic have won all four of their European home games this season; AZ are on a three-game losing streak on the road.

• Losing finalists in 2012, Athletic made it through to the round of 32 in their first three UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, but fell short in their most recent one, 2012/13.

• AZ's eighth UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaign will finish after matchday six; they have advanced to the knockout stage five times, most recently in 2013/14 when they got as far as the last eight.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Alkmaar to Bilbao is about 1,200km.

• Athletic's Aritz Aduriz is the top scorer in the 2015/16 group stage with six goals – one more than his nearest rival, Augsburg's Raúl Bobadilla.

• Athletic midfielder Markel Susaeta is one appearance shy of his 50th in UEFA club competition.

The coaches
• Ernesto Valverde took charge of Athletic for a second time in 2013. As a player, he had enjoyed the most stable period of his career in Bilbao, and he promptly returned to the club after retiring, including as head coach from 2003–05. Subsequently, he landed three Greek titles with Olympiacos FC and coached both Villarreal CF and Valencia FC.

• AZ boss since 2014, John van den Brom spent the majority of his playing days as a midfielder at Vitesse. Capped twice, he went on to coach Ajax's youth team, ADO Den Haag and Vitesse before heading to RSC Anderlecht and lifting the Belgian title in 2012/13.

Last updated: 07/12/15 19.05CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2016/matches/round=2000658/match=2017066/prematch/background/index.html#athletic+az+facts