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Bilbao league woes threaten to derail side's Europa dream

THE hangover from their surprise elimination of Manchester United is threatening to jeopardise Athletic Bilbao's hopes of winning the Europa League ahead of the Spanish club's visit to Schalke in the first leg of their quarter-final tonight.

Bilbao attracted welcome comparisons with the slick passing tactics of Barcelona by producing two legs of mesmerising football to oust the favourites in the last-16, but coach Marco Bielsa (pictured) and his side haven't managed a victory in four La Liga games since that Europa triumph.

In tonight's other quarter-finals, Spanish giants Valencia travel to Holland to take on AZ Alkmaar, Atletico Madrid host Hannover and Sporting Lisbon -- conquerors of Manchester City in the previous round -- are at home to FC Metalist Kharkiv.