Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao: Preview, Prediction, Team News, & Lineups

With recent Champions League victory over Chelsea, inspired by Leo Messi, Barcelona host Athletic Bilbao in the Camp Nou.

Athletic were out of luck in the Europa League with a defeat against Marseille. They have been knocked out of the European competition with the aggregate score of 2 – 5.
Ernesto Valverde’s sides are still undefeated in the league, and the league title is very near. They will be hoping for a comfortable win here, and at home, they are stronger than ever. Out of their last five games, they have won 4 games with a draw.

The Lions have won once in their last 5 games with 3 defeats and a draw.

Head-to-Head

In the last 10 meetings between the two sides, Bilbao have managed to win only one game whereas Barca won 8 of those games. A draw had been played between the two sides.
The Blaugranas will have to tune up their performance if they want to win against Athletic, who once won 4 – 0 against them back in 2016.

Team News

Barcelona

Sergio Busquets is sidelined for three weeks after suffering a fracture in his toe in the match against Chelsea.
Denis Suarez and Nelson Semedo remain out of the squad with injuries while Luis Suarez will be missing the game due to suspension.

Athletic Bilbao

Iker Munain, Mikel Balenziaga, Yeray Alvarez and Mikel Rico are all the cause of worry for the manager Jose Ziganda. They will miss the clash at the Camp Nou as they are sidelined due to injury.
Striker Aritz Aduriz is suspended for this crucial away fixture.

Players To Watch

Lionel Messi

The Argentine will be at his best against Bilbao after the legendary night in the Champions League against Chelsea. Such was the genius of the little man that even the opposition manager Antonio Conte gave Messi an affectionate hug after the game and stated that players like Messi are born every 50 years.

The playmaker can’t get enough with his goal-scoring ability and with his skills he is currently one of the best players in the world. His brace against Chelsea saw how excellent form is the player in and more can be expected from this talented player.

Raul Garcia

The Spanish player currently plays as an attacking midfielder for Athletic and is really talented. He has a knack for scoring goals at the right time and will be causing a lot of worry to the defense of Barca.
With Aduriz suspended he has the responsibility to score goals. Currently, the player has 8 goals and 2 assists to his name.

Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao Lineup (Predicted XI)

Barcelona (4-4-2)

GK: Ter Stegen
DEF: Roberto (LB), Pique (CB), Umtiti (CB), Alba (RB)
MID: Coutinho (LM), Rakitic (CM), Busquets (CM), Iniesta (RM)
ATT: Dembele (LF), Messi (RF)Barcelona lineup

Athletic Bilbao  Lineup (4-2-3-1)

GK: Arrizabalaga
DEF: Lekue (RB), Nunez (RCB) Inigo Martinez (LCB), Saborit (LB)
MID: Etxebarria (LDM), Iturraspe (RDM), Susaeta (RM), Raul Garcia (CAM), Cordoba (LM)
ATT: I. Williams (ST)Ath Bilbao lineup

Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao Prediction

It seems like nothing can stop the league leaders as they are undefeated in the league and hope to continue it throughout the season. The Lions will have to tune up their performance if they want a win and considering this match is being played at Camp Nou, it is an uphill battle for them. We predict a win for Barca.
Final scoreline: Barcelona 3-1 Athletic Bilbao

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