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Unai Emery makes bold decision ahead of Athletic Club and Bayern Munich clashes

Emery is prioritising the Champions League quarter-final second leg

FC Villarreal - Bayern Munich
Emery is not taking risks this weekend
Photo by Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

Unai Emery says he will be resting key players for Saturday’s La Liga clash with Athletic Club.

The Yellow Submarine secured a Champions League quarter final first leg win over Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.

It was another historic night for the Yellows, who have one foot in the semi-finals ahead of their trip to the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night.

And with such a big opportunity on the line, the question has become whether Emery should rest players for that second clash with Bayern in just a few days’ time.

Villarreal are in serious danger of missing out on Europa League football for next season amid a poor run domestically.

Villarreal CF v Bayern München Quarter Final Leg One - UEFA Champions League
Pau Torres is set to miss out this weekend
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

But at this stage of the season, having established a lead in the first leg, Emery is putting his eggs firmly in the Champions League basket.

“The team is eager, you already prepare the team for the whole season and manage efforts,” he said in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Athletic Club clash.

“We have players who play less, but when the time comes, we must have confidence in those who play less commonly.

“We are going to need alternatives compared to Wednesday. We must manage the efforts and casualties, added to this are the casualties of Pau, Boulayé or Alberto.”

The Pau Torres injury, in particular, will be a big concern, with the defender putting on a superb performance against Bayern,

Meanwhile, Alberto Moreno is out long-term, and Boulaye Dia missed out on the Bayern squad.

There are also some question marks over Juan Foyth for this weekend’s Athletic Club clash, and the full-back is likely to be rested.