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Garitano hoping for positive result in Basque derby

Garitano hoping for positive result in Basque derby

Real Sociedad boss Asier Garitano has said he wants a positive result against rivals Athletic Bilbao on Friday evening.

Friday night sees Athletic welcome La Real to San Mames as the Basque rivals meet for the first time this season to begin the La Liga weekend.

Hosts Athletic sit in 15th place but with a game in hand following the postponement of their earlier clash with Rayo Vallecano with a win in that match possibly lifting them as high as eighth.

Los Leones earned an impressive point away at Barcelona last weekend but prior to that had struggled, losing 3-0 in their last home match against Villarreal.

Despite a strong start to the season, La Real sit just a point above their rivals after a draw at home to Rayo was followed by a defeat at home to Valencia last weekend.

Last season’s game at San Mames ended in a goalless draw with Sociedad winning 3-1 at the Anoeta, thanks to a double own goal from Mikel San Jose.

“I only have 14 players available, some of those have problems, ” Garitano said. “It is a difficult moment for us, we are going to see if we can play a good game, achieve a good result and, give us some shape for the rest of the season.

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“I expect a very intense match, as most derbies are. They are at home and they will put us under a lot of pressure, it will be difficult. They have fewer points than us, so we have done something well.”

Berizzo confirmed on Thursday that both Aritz Aduriz and Inigo Martinez will be available for the derby despite concerns on the contrary. Iago Herrerin is also available for selection after injury but is likely to only make the bench with Unai Simon expected to continue in goal.

As for Garitano and Real Sociedad, they remain without the injured quartet of Jon Guridi, Diego Llorente, Adnan Januzaj and Martin Merquelanz.