Saturday 4 Feb

Barcelona vs Ath Bilbao Match Preview

04 Feb 2017 Stuart S. SPAIN: LaLiga
SPAIN: LaLiga

FC Barcelona

  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

vs

Kick-off
15:15 GMT
04 February 2017

Athletic Bilbao

  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W

Kick-off
15:15 GMT 04 February 2017

The Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao match will be played on Saturday, February 4th, 2017 at the Camp Nou in Barcelona. This is matchday 21 in the 2016/17 La Liga season. Barcelona are 2nd with 42 points while Athletic are 7th with 32 points.

STATS

  • Athletic Bilbao has won 3 of the last 34 matches with Barcelona.
  • There have 2+ goals in 19 of Barcelona’s last 20 games.
  • Barcelona has lost 1 of their last 10 games. On January 5th, they lost 1-2 in Bilbao.
  • Athletic Bilbao has won 1 of their last 10 away games in all competitions.
  • 6 of Athletic’s last 8 games has seen +2.5 goals.

HEAD TO HEAD

The two sides have already met 3 times this season. In La Liga, Barcelona won 1-0 in Bilbao on August 28th, 2016. In the Copa Del Rey, Bilbao won the home leg of their tie 2-1 but Barcelona won the second leg 3-1 on January 11th, 2017.

Athletic’s last win in Barcelona was in November 2001. Since then, Barcelona have won 15 and drawn 4 of their meetings with Athletic in the Camp Nou.

Head to head matches: FC Barcelona - Athletic Bilbao

11.01.2017 Copa FC Barcelona Athletic Bilbao 3:1
05.01.2017 Copa Athletic Bilbao FC Barcelona 2:1
28.08.2016 LaLi Athletic Bilbao FC Barcelona 0:1

BARCELONA NEWS

Barcelona go into this game with a reasonably clean bill of health. Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Lucas Digne are all likely to feature on the bench, as they complete their return from injury.

Ivan Rakitic and Arda Turan will most likely continue as the midfield base with the trio targeting a return to first team football in the second leg of the Copa Del Rey tie against Atletico Madrid.

The midweek win in the first leg in Madrid is some small revenge for last season’s Champions League but the Blaugrana are focussed on chasing down Real Madrid.

Two draws in their last 4 games left them 4 points behind Real, who had been wobbling (by La Liga standards) with a defeat and draw in their last 6.

The second Clasico of the season comes 5 games before the end of the season; if Barca haven’t caught Real by that point, they can kiss goodbye to the title and Luis Enrique probably his job, unless the Champions League is still winnable.

Latest matches: FC Barcelona

01.02.2017 Copa Atletico Madrid FC Barcelona 1:2 W
29.01.2017 LaLi Betis Sevilla FC Barcelona 1:1 D
26.01.2017 Copa FC Barcelona Real Sociedad 5:2 W
22.01.2017 LaLi SD Eibar FC Barcelona 0:4 W
19.01.2017 Copa Real Sociedad FC Barcelona 0:1 W

ATHLETIC BILBAO NEWS

Ernesto Valverde takes his Bilbao side to the Camp Nou knowing they are the ‘sacrificial lambs’. Nobody expects them to gain any points from the fixture which eases the pressure on them to some extent.

Kepa and Sabin Merino are both injured but Eneko Boveda and Elustondo are expected to make the matchday squad. Aymeric Laporte is almost certain to be passed fit and should be alongside Eneko Boveda at the heart of the Bilbao defence.

Chances are likely to be at a premium but the Basques know they are far superior to Barcelona in the air. The Blaugrana are the side in La Liga with the best stats for possession and passing accuracy but Athletic are second only to Real Madrid for winning aerial duals.

Since the beginning of December, only Real Betis has beaten Athletic in La Liga, with Bilbao regaining their durability. Valverde will hope they continue to be difficult to beat this weekend.

Latest matches: Athletic Bilbao

29.01.2017 LaLi Athletic Bilbao Sporting Gijon 2:1 W
22.01.2017 LaLi Athletic Bilbao Atletico Madrid 2:2 D
14.01.2017 LaLi CD Leganes Athletic Bilbao 0:0 D
11.01.2017 Copa FC Barcelona Athletic Bilbao 3:1 L
08.01.2017 LaLi Athletic Bilbao CD Alaves 0:0 D

SUMMING UP!

It’s a Barcelona home game and nobody generally gives the opposition a hope of taking a point, let along winning. With Athletic’s appalling record in the Camp Nou, it’s hard to see them taking anything other than nil points from this match.

If there is to be a shock or upset, it’s vital that Iker Muniain keeps a good supply line to Aduritz and Raul Garcia open.

Even then facing the mighty Messi, Suarez and Neymar trident, it’s hard to see Athletic’s back four stopping Barcelona from scoring at least 3 goals.

About the author - Stuart S.

An English freelance sports writer, Stuart has written the Arsenal blog A Cultured Left Foot since 2006, as well as numerous betting previews and articles.

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