Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Predictions, Betting Tips and Match Preview. Check the match preview, betting tips, useful info and betting predictions for the match between Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona in La Liga.
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Match Preview
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde returns to his former stomping ground as Athletic Bilbao welcome the Catalans to the San Mames on Saturday, October 28. Trips to this part of the country are never easy and Barcelona will have to be at the top of their game to come out with full points.
Athletic’s early involvement in the Europa League play-offs helped them start the season well. However, setbacks in the recent past have pegged them back as Athletic look one-dimensional and bereft of creativity. Home advantage would be a no-starter if they can’t get over the absence of star winger Iker Muniain. With just one win in the last 10 competitive matches, Barcelona is not a contest that Athletic would prefer at the moment. They are now 11th in the La Liga table with 11 points from nine matches. A hard-fought 1-1 draw on the road against lowly Formentera in the Copa Del Rey isn’t a morale booster either.
Barcelona, on the other hand, have put in a second-string team against Murcia in the midweek winning the Copa Del Rey fixture 3-0. It was their 12th win in their last 13 matches. They currently top the La Liga standings with 25 points from nine matches and a four-point cushion over Valencia. With the joint-best defensive record and the best scoring record, the Catalans have made sure that the pre-season shock of Neymar’s transfer hasn’t affected their performances. Valverde will be desperate to keep winning and maintain a five-point advantage over arch-rivals Real Madrid in the third place. Their recent record at the venue of this Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona fixture is very good too – three wins of their last four meetings.
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona H2H
Both these sides have met 11 times across competitions since the start of 2015. The Catalans have won eight of their last nine clashes and start as heavy favourites ahead of this encounter. Athletic have lost their last seven La Liga games against Barca with the last four seeing a clean sheet for the Catalans.
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Team News
Mikel Balenziaga has an ankle problem but should start for Athletic Bilbao. Otherwise, there are no major worries for the hosts.
Jordi Alba is fit again and should be available for Barcelona. Luis Suarez’ blip in form is a worry but he will not be dropped.
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Probable Line-ups
Athletic Bilbao: Arrizabalaga, Laporte, Nunez, Boveda, Lekue, Etxebarria, San Jose, Garcia, Merino, Iturraspe, Williams.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Mascherano, Umtiti, Pique, Rakitic, Busquets, Paulinho, Iniesta, Messi, Suarez.
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Predictions
Barcelona’s away matches have regularly witnessed under 2.5 goals this season while the same can be said of Athletic’s home games. That could once again be the case this weekend as under 2.5 goals for the match looks a good pick. Messi traditionally struggled at the new San Mames scoring just once in his three games. His great start to the season should continue and the Argentine could be a good pick to score a goal.