Athletic have endured an unsettling summer, as first manager Marcelo Bielsa looked set to resign before agreeing to stay on, and now Fernando Llorente and Javi Martinez are both rumoured to be leaving in multi-million Euro deals.
It is hard to see either starting this weekend for fear of prejudicing any potential transfer by picking up an injury, but Llorente made an instant impact after coming on against Croatian minnows Slaven in the Europa League last week and may be kept on the bench in reserve.
Jon Aurtenetxe's injury means Inigo Perez will continue to deputise at left-back as he has already done so in the Europa League qualifiers and Carlos Gurpegi is expected to make his La Liga comeback from a serious knee injury in central defence.
Real Betis' new additions have mainly been forward thinking players and Salvador Agra, Juan Carlos and Joel Campbell could all be handed their debuts at San Mames.
The back four remains the same as the one that finished last season after Paulao made his loan deal from St. Etienne permanent, whilst despite interest from a number of clubs including Bilbao, Benat remains the key player in midfield.
Ruben Castro was Betis' main man in the goals department last season with 16 and he will lead the line alongside Campbell.
This fixture served up a brilliant 3-2 win for Betis early last season and another high-scoring affair could be in store given both managers' preference to play on the front foot.
Athletic's defending in their 4-3 aggregate win over Slaven wasn't overly convincing and if Perez, Martinez and Gurpegi line-up in the back four then Andoni Iraola will be the only natural defender in the team.
However, Ander Herrera and Iker Muniain will be desperate to make amends for their poor showing at the Olympics and Aritz Aduriz's return means there is at least some productful backup for Llorente, so Athletic should have enough to avoid starting with a home defeat.
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