Athletic Club to play Southampton FC in pre-season friendly | Athletic Club
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Athletic Club to play Southampton FC in pre-season friendly

The Lions will face the Saints at St Mary’s Stadium on August 7

Athletic Club to play Southampton FC in pre-season friendly
Athletic Club to play Southampton FC in pre-season friendly
Jul 21, 2021

Athletic Club will take on Southampton FC at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday, August 7 at 16:00 CEST.

The fixture is part of a mini tour of England for the Lions, as Marcelino’s side will follow up the clash on the south coast with a fixture against Liverpool FC on August 8 at Anfield (kick-off 17:00 CEST).

Known as ‘the Saints’ by their fans, Southampton are a regular in the English top-flight having played a total of 43 seasons in the top division since first getting promoted in 1966.

Last season, current manager Ralph Hasenhüttl led his side to 15th in the Premier League. Their top goalscorer was striker Danny Ings, who scored 12 league goals in 2020-21.

Athletic have played the Saints five times before. The most recent clash took place at St Mary’s Stadium in the 2016-17 pre-season, with the Saints winning 1-0 thanks to a goal by striker Shane Long.

The first ever clash was in the first round of the 1971-72 UEFA Cup. Southampton won the first leg 2-1 at their old ground The Dell, with Arieta II getting on the scoresheet for the Lions.

Athletic progressed to the next round after second-half strikes by Ortuondo and Arieta II helped the Lions to a 2-0 win at The Cathedral.

The Saints have a well-run academy and have produced some important British players over the past 30 years, including: Alan Shearer, Matt Le Tissier, Gareth Bale, Luke Shaw and many others.

Athletic Club and Southampton FC have some historic links: The Lions play in red-and-white stripes because an Athletic director bought the kits while in Southampton in 1910; legendary Athletic goalkeeper Raimundo Lezama learned the ropes at the south-coast club after being evacuated to the city during the Spanish Civil War; and Southampton’s former attacking midfielder Matt Le Tissier was the first ever recipient of the One-Club Man award, which is given to players who spend their entire career at the same club.

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