Falcao is the joint top scorer in the competition. Source: AP/theaustralian.com.au
Atletico Madrid take on Spanish La Liga rivals Athletic Bilbao in Bucharest on Thursday morning (AEST) looking to be crowned Europa League champions for the second time in three seasons.
Atletico have been in great form in this competition, with their 1-0 win in the second leg of their semi-final against Valencia taking their unbeaten record in the competition to eleven matches. They have also been the most prolific scorers, having bagged 30 goals since the start of the group stage. Columbian hitman Falcao is the joint top scorer in the Europa League this season, having found the back of the net ten times. Former Chelsea midfielder Tiago will miss the match through suspension.
Athletic Bibao, who only field players of Basque origin, stamped themselves as a force to be reckoned with by defeating Manchester United both home and away in the last sixteen and booked their place in the decider with a 3-1 home victory over Sporting Lisbon in the semi-finals. Coach Marcelo Biesla rested centre forward Fernando Llorente and several other key players for his sides 0-0 draw with Getafe FC in the league on the weekend, but they are all expected to return.
The clubs have clashed twice in domestic competition this season, with Bilbao recording a 3-0 home win in October before Atletico squared the ledger with a 2-1 victory in Madrid in March.
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