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Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao Prediction & Match Preview

 

Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao Prediction & Match Preview

Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao
Spain-La Liga
Date: Sunday, 31 January 2021
Kick-off at 20:00 UK/ 21:00 CET
Venue: Camp Nou (Barcelona).


All eyes will be on Camp Nou when Barcelona and Athletic Club take on each other in the La Liga round 21. 

Barca are eager to get their revenge on the Lions for the defeat in the Spanish Super Cup, and the good news for Ronald Koeman is that Leo Messi has served his ban. 

The Catalan giants have already dropped too many points in the 2020/21 La Liga season, meaning that this has to go down as a must-win game for the hosts.

Sergio Roberto should recover in time to face Athletic Club, while Gerard Pique, Ansu Fati, and Philippe Coutinho remain in the recovery room. 

The Lions, on the other hand, did well to build on the Super Cup win, with the team rolling over Getafe 5-1 at their San Mames at the weekend. 

However, Athletic are not regarded as good travellers, and we do not believe that they are capable of claiming yet another major scalp.


Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao Head-to-head (h2h)

Teams Barcelona Athletic Bilbao played so far 58 matches.
Barcelona won 37 direct matches. Athletic Bilbao won 9 matches. 12 matches ended in a draw. On average in direct matches both teams scored a 2.98 goals per Match.

Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao Prediction

Barcelona in actual season average scored 2.20 goals per match. In 13 (92.86%) matches played at home was total goals (team and opponent) Over 1.5 goals. In 11 (78.57%) matches in season 2021 played at home was total goals (team and opponent) Over 2.5 goals.

Athletic Bilbao average scored 1.46 goals per match in season 2021. In 14 (82.35%) matches played away was total goals (team and opponent) Over 1.5 goals. In 11 (64.71%) matches played away team was total goals (team and opponent) Over 2.5 goals.


Team News:

Barca will be without the services of Sergio Busquets through suspension, meaning that there could be a spot in the middle of the park for Miralem Pjanic, who has struggled for action since arriving last summer.

Ansu Fati, Gerard Pique and Philippe Coutinho are still injured, but Sergi Roberto has recently returned to training following a muscular problem and could potentially make the squad.

There will be changes from the side that started against Rayo in the Copa del Rey, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Sergino Dest, Jordi Alba and Ousmane Dembele in line to return, but Antoine Griezmann should keep his spot alongside Messi in the final third of the field.

As for Athletic, Peru Nolaskoain is still absent through injury, while Inigo Martinez and Mikel Balenziaga are both doubts for the visitors to Camp Nou.

Head coach Marcelino will also make wholesale changes from the side that started in the Copa del Rey on Thursday, with Raul Garcia, Iker Muniain, Williams and Dani Garcia all in line to return.

Ander Capa, Unai Vencedor and Unai Simon should also be back in the starting XI, while Yuri Berchiche should feature at left-back with Balenziaga not expected to be risked.


Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Pjanic, Pedri; Griezmann, Messi, Dembele

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; Capa, Alvarez, Nunez, Berchiche; De Marcos, Vencedor, D Garcia, Muniain; Williams, R Garcia



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