Athletic Bilbao have their sights set on a cup
double this season.
The La Liga outfit have already reached the final of
the Copa del Rey, where they will face the might of
Barcelona in late May.
Of more immediate concern is Thursday night's first
leg of their Europa League round of 32 clash with
Lokomotiv Moscow in sub-zero temperatures in the
Although Lokomotiv have not played a competitive
match since mid-December, given the Russian winter
break, Athletic striker Iker Muniain is expecting a
bitterly cold and tough encounter.
"They will be fresher, but this also brings with it
a lack of rhythm that we already have which could be
a big factor," said Muniain, whose side have lost
just two of their last 14 matches in all
"What's clear is that it's going to be a very
difficult game, but we're ready and focused on what
awaits us, both with regard to the temperature and
"We are going there with plenty of desire. Our
objective is not only to get a goal, which would
mean a lot for the return leg, but to go for the
"We want to do well in the Europa League, to get
through the rounds, and hopefully we will get as far
as in the Copa del Rey."
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Despite their lack of a recent competitive edge,
Lokomotiv enjoyed a near month-long training camp in
Lagos, Portugal, before heading back to Moscow at
Lokomotiv struck 10 goals without reply in two
friendlies, beating Atletico of Lison 4-0 and Lagos
6-0, the latter game seeing Roman Pavlyuchenko make
his debut following his recent move from Spurs.
Slovakia defender Jan Durica said: "I think we are
in perfect physical condition.
"We are up against a decent contender but we need to
show character. We need not fear anyone before
taking to the field."
The winners, with the second leg in Bilbao next
week, will face either Manchester United or Ajax in
the last 16.