Marcelo Bielsa wary of 'industrious' Sporting Lisbon

Marcelo Bielsa
© PA Photos
Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa admits that his side might be stifled during the first leg of their Europa League semi-final at Sporting Lisbon.

Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa has insisted that Sporting Lisbon will make life difficult for his side in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie this evening (Thursday).

Bilbao travel to Portugal in excellent European form following wins over Manchester United and Schalke.

However, Bielsa thinks that his team may be stifled during the match at the Estadio Jose Alvaldade.

"It will be a different challenge but like United and Schalke, Sporting are an industrious side," he told reporters. "There is a perception that they do not take the initiative quite so much, that we will have free rein to attack, but I am not so sure.

"This is a big challenge but as glib as it sounds, all matches are important for us, equally important.

"All matches stir me, no matter who they are against. When the day comes that I am not enthused for a game it would concern me, but that is yet to happen."

Despite a strong campaign in the Europa League, Bilbao currently sit seventh in the La Liga table.

Marcelo Bielsa
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