Athletic Bilbao Vs Barcelona: It’s finally started, A new season and the top of the table seems a familiar sight for now. Like last season, Barcelona on top with Real Madrid trailing on goal difference.
Athletic Bilbao Vs Barcelona Match Preview, Team News, Starting XI and Match Prediction
Athletic Club which had a strong finish last season failed to continue the momentum. They lost to relegation candidates Sporting de Gijon,away at the Estadio El Molinón last weekend. But luck might be on Athletic’s side as the San Mamés is a notoriously difficult stadium to play at. Athletic Bilbao’s energetic style of play with their tumultuous crowd makes for a Venue of intense pressure in the La Liga.
Barcelona in the meanwhile like mentioned earlier, Mauled Real Betis 6-2 on Matchday 1. Playing Bilbao away this early in the season could be beneficial for Barça in the long run when the calendar becomes hectic. A home game against Bilbao is easier that beating them at their own backyard.
Athletic Bilbao Vs Barcelona Team News
Barcelona will be without Neymar who just won Gold at the just concluded Rio Olympics. Andres Iniesta will also be missed out. Expect Arda Turan and Denis Suarez to step up on both slots like the previous matches.
Midfield should contain the usual suspects with Denis Suarez taking the place of Iniesta. The Croatian Ivan Rakitic will start alongside him to provide Barça’s engine, with Sergio Busquets completing the trio.
With Javier Mascherano and Jérémy Mathieu injured, Piqué will partner with Samuel Umtiti. Sergi Roberto is likely to take up the right-back spot over Aleix Vidal. The Left-wing is the only position that will give Enrique a headache. Munir is giving a tight fight to Turan to replace Neymar. Jordi Alba will take up his left-back role ahead of Lucas Digne. Claudio Bravo said his Goodbyes earlier this week departing for Manchester City which means Ter-Stegen got his promotion.
Athletic Bilbao do not have any major suspensions or injuries. Usual starter Aritz Aduriz will lead the lineup front with Iker Muniain featuring on the left side.
Tenacious Midfielder Raul Garcia who joined from Athletico Madrid a season back has proved to be an invaluable piece in the midfield.Captain Gorka Iraizoz between the goal posts would give the team the stability on the defensive side.
Athletic Bilbao Vs Barcelona Predicted Starting XI
Athletic Bilbao (4-2-3-1 formation)
Iraizoz; de Marcos, Boveda, Laporte, Balenziaga; San Jose, Benat; Williams, Garcia, del Moral; Aduriz
Barcelona (4-3-3 formation)
Bravo; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, D. Suárez; Messi, L. Suárez, Turan
Athletic Bilbao Vs Barcelona Predicted Scoreline
This one is a tough call to make but a 2-1 victory to Barcelona. With Lionel Messi in his peak creative powers and Suarez’s pin point finishes, Barcelona will run riot if Bilbao fail to keep their defencive unit organised.