Athletic look for Lokomotiv redemption
Friday, 17 February 2012
Athletic Club welcome FC Lokomotiv Moskva to Bilbao looking to set up a date with AFC Ajax or Manchester United FC in the UEFA Europa League round of 16.
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Athletic Club welcome FC Lokomotiv Moskva to Bilbao looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit and set up a date with AFC Ajax or Manchester United FC in the UEFA Europa League round of 16.
• Iker Muniain (36) gave the visitors a deserved lead in Moscow, but the Railwaymen hit back strongly in the second half. Denis Glushakov equalised from the penalty spot (61) after a foul on Felipe Caicedo, who then grabbed the winner with a well-taken finish (71).
• The sides have been paired for the first time in UEFA competition.
• Athletic's only experience of Russian opposition prior to this season came in the 1973/74 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round, when they drew 0-0 at FC Torpedo Moskva before winning the home leg 2-0.
• Lokomotiv's record in 13 games against Spanish teams reads W2 D3 L8 (W0 D1 L4 in Spain).
• A 4-2 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain FC in their final group stage fixture ended Athletic's six-game unbeaten run in this season's UEFA Europa League.
• Athletic are unbeaten in five European home fixtures − two wins and three draws − since a 3-0 loss to SV Werder Bremen in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• The Bilbao side have reached the round of 32 for the third time since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage; they lost to FK Austria Wien in 2004/05 and RSC Anderlecht in 2009/10.
• Lokomotiv have scored three times in each of their most recent away games − a 3-1 win at AEK Athens FC and a 5-3 defeat by Anderlecht, the highest-scoring game in the group stage.
• The Railwaymen have not survived the winter break in a UEFA competition since 2005/06, when Sevilla FC knocked them out of the UEFA Cup round of 32.
• Lokomotiv are at their most dangerous after the break; 13 of their 16 goals since the start of the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage have come after the interval, seven of them between the 61st and 75th minutes.
• Anderlecht's Matías Suárez remains the top scorer in the UEFA Europa League with seven goals, with Lokomotiv Moskva's Dmitri Sychev one strike behind him on six.
• Lokomotiv's Taras Burlak celebrates his 22nd birthday on the eve of the game.
• Athletic goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz faced Lokomotiv in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage; his RCD Espanyol side won 1-0 in Moscow.
• Lokomotiv boast Spanish talent in the form of midfielder Alberto Zapater, who played in eight league games against Athletic for his home-town club Real Zaragoza, with the record W3 D2 L3.
• Loko striker Felipe Caicedo has played in Spain with Málaga CF, drawing 1-1 in his only game against Athletic, and Levante UD last season, while on loan from Manchester City FC; he scored in a 2-1 home defeat by Athletic, and featured as his side lost the return fixture 3-2 at San Mamés.
• Victor Obinna also played in Spain, on loan at Málaga, before moving to Moscow; his only game against Athletic ended in a 1-1 draw in Bilbao.
• Lokomotiv's Slovenian left-back Branko Ilič played for Real Betis Balompié from 2007 to 2009; his only game against Athletic ended in a 2-1 win for his side at San Mamés in 2007.
• Lokomotiv coach José Couceiro was in caretaker charge at Sporting Clube de Portugal for the latter part of 2010/11 before replacing Yuri Krasnozhan as Lokomotiv boss in July. Since coaching Portugal's Under-21s from 2006 to 2007, he has been in charge of FBK Kaunas, Lithuania and Gaziantepspor.
• Athletic's coach is former Argentina defender Marcelo Bielsa, who briefly led Espanyol in Spain 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.
Round of 16
• The winners of this tie will take on Ajax or United in the round of 16 on 8 and 15 March, playing the second leg at home.
• Lokomotiv have met neither of their potential opponents in UEFA competition.
• Athletic have lost their only UEFA ties against both Ajax and United; they beat Ajax 2-0 at home in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup first round, but lost the away leg 3-0, and overcame United 5-3 at San Mamés in the 1956/57 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-finals but went down 3-0 in Manchester.
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here: