Match Preview : Athletic Bilbao vs FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona travel to San Mames for their second game in La Liga in a tough game against Athletic. The two teams share a lot of history, particularly during the last season. The teams faced each other four times, twice in the league and twice in cup finals. Athletic won one of the cup finals in extra time in some style. In addition, they won 11, drew 13 and lost 14 of their 38 league games in the previous campaign. Bilbao finished 10th in the league, 15 points off the top six. 

We talked about the game in the new episode of our Podcast

Marcelino’s men traveled to Elche in matchday one last week that ended in a goalless draw. Bilbao would be determined to win their first game at home. They also have Atletico de Madrid in their next three fixtures, a rather harsh run of games for the Basque side. The Lions have lost their last three meetings with the Catalans and will make life difficult at home. But they have a number of injury issues in the team this time, which could force them to change their tactics. 

Life after Messi is looking pretty good for the Catalans as they beat Real Sociedad 4-2 at the Camp Nou. Goals from Pique, Roberto, and a brace from Martin Brathwaite saw them part La Real last week. Ronald Koeman has a massive task at hand with the new, young and talented squad he has. Players like Gavi and Nico Gonzales coming through the academy with Yusuf Demir as the new talent are making the future look rather bright. 

TEAM NEWS

Athletic Bilbao

Yuri Berchiche, Peru Nolaskoain, Kenan Kodro, Inigo Cordoba and Alex Petxa are out injured. 

Ander Capa is doubtful to be fit for the game. 

Raul Garcia will return from suspension but will most likely start on the bench due to lack of rhythm. 

FC Barcelona 

Ousmane Dembele, Sergio Aguero, Ansu Fati, and Marc Andre Ter Stegen are out injured. 

Gerrad Pique will travel with the squad but might not play due to minor discomfort. 

Umtiti and Pjanic are on the verge of leaving, so won’t be featuring in the game.

Yusuf Demir could make his La Liga debut for the team in this one. 

EXPECTED LINEUPS 

Athletic Bilbao:

Agirrezabala; De Marcos, Alvarez, Martinez, Balenziaga; Berenguer, D Garcia, Vencedor, Muniain; Sancet, Williams

FC Barcelona:

Neto; Dest, Araujo, E Garcia, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, De Jong; Demir, Memphis, Griezmann

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