Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona: La Liga – Match Preview

Barcelona start their La Liga title defence with a tricky away fixture at Athletic Bilbao.

The big news of Bilbao’s window was the fact forward Inaki Williams signed a new long term deal with the club.

Bilbao earned decent results in pre-season, holding both AS Roma and West Ham United.

Barcelona went big in the summer window, bringing both Antoine Griezmann and Frankie de Jong to the Nou Camp.

Neymar has been heavily linked with a return to the club, but they would likely need to offload a few key players.

Match history
Both league meetings in the 2018-19 season finished level, including a goalless draw at the San Memes.

Last five La Liga meetings
Athletic Bilbao 0 Barcelona 0 – 10/02/19
Barcelona 1 Athletic Bilbao 1 – 29/09/18
Barcelona 2 Athletic Bilbao 0 – 18/03/18
Athletic Bilbao 0 Barcelona 2 – 28/10/17
Barcelona 3 Athletic Bilbao 0 – 04/02/17

Both teams to score – 4/6 with Sky Bet

Team news
Inigo Cordoba and Inigo Martinez both have knocks, but should feature from the start.

Ander Capa is expected to get the nod at right-back ahead of Oscar de Marcos.

Lionel Messi misses out on the opening weekend after picking up a calf injury that should rule him out until the end of August.

De Jong is expected to get a start in midfield ahead of Sergi Roberto, whilst Griezmann is set for a wider role.

Expected starting XI’s
Athletic Bilbao (4-3-3): Simon; Capa, Martinez, Yeray, Yuri; Garcia, Lopez, Garcia; Munian, Williams, Cordoba
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Rakitic; Dembele, Suarez, Griezmann

Predictions

Result: Barcelona (8/11 with 888 Sport)

Correct Score: 1-2 (15/2 with Sky Bet)

Anytime Goalscorer: Luis Suarez (27/20 with 888 Sport)

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