Valverde calls for calm

Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde has called on his players to keep their feet on the ground after reaching the Champions League group stages, reminding them that their priority now is to improve their domestic form.

Last Updated: 29/08/14 at 18:46

Valverde: Needs a performance now in the league

Valverde: Needs a performance now in the league

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

The Basques produced an emphatic comeback against Napoli in mid-week, beating the Serie A side 3-1 to qualify for the Champions League proper for the first time in 16 years, but have got off to a bad start in the Primera Division, losing their opening game at Malaga.

The coach is hoping they can put things right in the league when they host Levante on Saturday.

"We need to put the euphoria of the Napoli game to one side because we've got zero points and we need to start picking them up," Valverde told a press conference.

"The fact we lost last week obliges us to beat Levante, especially because our next game after that is at the Nou Camp."

Valverde revealed that defender Andoni Iraola is still feeling some discomfort after playing the 90 minutes against Malaga, meaning Oscar de Marcos is expected to keep his place at right-back.

The coach also hinted he would make one or two changes for the visit of Levante after praising the impact made by Ibai Gomez, debutant Unai Lopez and defender Mikel San Jos coming off the bench against Napoli.

"Ibai's injury last year caused us a lot of problems, he has great quality and an eye for goal," the coach said of the forward, who missed the latter stages of last season with muscular problems but scored the third goal against Rafa Benitez's side.

On Lopez, the highly-rated 18-year-old midfielder, he added: "I'm certain he's going to be an important player for us in the future, I knew he was going to make his debut this year."

Like Athletic, Levante got off to a losing start in the league, going down 2-0 at home to Villarreal.

Full-back Pedro Lopez believes Athletic are just as good as last season, when they finished fourth in the league, but is hopeful his side can make the most of the fact they will still be be feeling the effects of their energetic performance against Napoli.

"They have a very good team that is well established," he said.

"It's the same Athletic as last year, they know each other very well and everything's going well for them. But they've played three games and we can catch them while they are a little tired."

Midfielder Pape Diop returns to the side after missing the Villarreal game through suspension, while coach Jose Luis Mendilibar has left Ruben Garcia and Andreas Ivanschitz out of his squad.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

La Liga Fixtures

Friday, 19 September 2014
20:00
Elche v Eibar  
Saturday, 20 September 2014
15:00
Deportivo v R Madrid  
17:00
Ath Bilbao v Granada  
19:00
A Madrid v Celta Vigo  
21:00
Espanyol v Malaga  
Sunday, 21 September 2014
11:00
Sociedad v Almeria  
16:00
Villarreal v R Vallecano  
18:00
Cordoba v Sevilla  
20:00
Levante v Barcelona  
Monday, 22 September 2014
19:45
Getafe v Valencia  

Spanish Primera BBVA

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Barcelona 3 6 9
2 Valencia 3 5 7
3 Sevilla 3 3 7
4 A Madrid 3 2 7
5 Celta Vigo 3 2 5
6 Granada 3 1 5
7 Sociedad 3 1 4
8 Villarreal 3 1 4
9 Deportivo 3 0 4
10 Elche 3 -2 4
11 Malaga 3 -2 4
12 Ath Bilbao 3 0 3
13 R Madrid 3 -1 3
14 Eibar 3 -1 3
15 Getafe 3 -3 3
16 R Vallecano 3 -1 2
17 Almeria 3 -1 2
18 Cordoba 3 -2 2
19 Espanyol 3 -3 1
20 Levante 3 -5 1

Updated Mon, 15 Sep 2014

Footer 365

Premier League: Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez battling testicular cancer

Newcastle United winger Jonas Gutierrez has revealed he has been receiving treatment for testicular cancer.

Champions League: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits Dortmund deserved victory

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits his side were 'average' following their 2-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

Champions League: Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers praises side after Ludogorets win

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers praised his side's character as they battled to a late 2-1 win over Ludogorets.

Mail Box

Who's More Miserable - Baggies Or Mags?

There's not a lot to choose between the misery of West Brom fans and the misery of Newcastle fans. We have mails on them, 'only QPR' and lots on Man United...

Forget it, Ronaldo Won't Come Back

A varied morning mailbox, with thoughts on Ronaldo, Daley Blind = Michael Carrick, Ed Woodward redemption, stick with Pardew, QPR's name change and marbles...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property