This evening’s game in La Liga sees Athletic Bilbao play host to Barcelona. It’s 14th place vs 1st place, and we’re expecting an entertaining match here.
Athletic Bilbao head into this match having succumbed to a 1-2 away defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad last time out despite playing some good football of late. They’ve started to turn their losing patch around, and have experienced a good run earlier this season with a seven game undefeated run.
Their league position is a lot more secure than it was previously, having sat worryingly in the drop zone. Recent form has picked up for Bilbao and they’ll no doubt want to put on a good display against Barcelona and aim to get back to winning ways.
Athletic Bilbao Home La Liga Form
|27.01.2019||WIN||Athletic Bilbao v Real Betis||1 – 0 (HT 1 – 0)|
|13.01.2019||WIN||Athletic Bilbao v Sevilla||2 – 0 (HT 1 – 0)|
|10.01.2019||LOSS||Athletic Bilbao v Sevilla||1 – 3 (HT 1 – 0)|
|22.12.2018||DRAW||Athletic Bilbao v Valladolid||1 – 1 (HT 1 – 0)|
|10.12.2018||WIN||Athletic Bilbao v Girona||1 – 0 (HT 0 – 0)|
Recent form hasn’t been kind to Barca with the Catalonians winning just two in their last five. Form they’ll be looking to improve on in today’s match as a win here will put an eight point gap between them and Real Madrid.
Relief all round for Barcelona fans as latest team news has reported that Lionel Messi has passed a fitness test following a recent spell out, and will return to the starting lineup to face Athletic Bilbao. The thigh injury which kept the Argentine out looks to have all but cleared up, and had managed to make the bench for the midweek cup tie against Real Madrid.
The squad list has been announced ahead of the match as released by SB Nation:
Goalkeepers: 1. Marc-André ter Stegen, 30. Iñaki Peña
Defenders: 2. Nélson Semedo, 3. Gerard Piqué, 15. Clément Lenglet, 17. Jeison Murillo, 24. Thomas Vermaelen, 27. Juan Miranda
Midfielders: 4. Ivan Rakitic, 5. Sergio Busquets, 7. Philippe Coutinho, 20. Sergi Roberto, 21. Carles Aleñá, 22. Arturo Vidal
Forwards: 9. Luis Suárez, 10. Lionel Messi, 11. Ousmane Dembélé, 14. Malcom, 19. Kevin-Prince Boateng
Barcelona Away La Liga Form
|27.01.2019||WIN||Girona v Barcelona||0 – 2 (HT 0 – 1)|
|23.01.2019||LOSS||Sevilla v Barcelona||2 – 0 (HT 0 – 0)|
|10.01.2019||LOSS||Levante v Barcelona||2 – 1 (HT 2 – 0)|
|06.01.2019||WIN||Getafe v Barcelona||1 – 2 (HT 1 – 2)|
|16.12.2018||WIN||Levante v Barcelona||0 – 5 (HT 0 – 2)|
Head to Head Statistics
|29.09.2018||La Liga||Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao||1 – 1 (HT 0 – 1)|
|18.03.2018||La Liga||Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao||2 – 0 (HT 2 – 0)|
|28.10.2017||La Liga||Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona||0 – 2 (HT 0 – 1)|
|04.02.2017||La Liga||Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao||3 – 0 (HT 2 – 0)|
|11.01.2017||Copa Del Ray||Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao||3 – 1 (HT 1 – 0)|
Here are how the odds to win the match look from the bookies ahead of the game.
Odds taken at 11:00 GMT 10/02/2019
Our Verdict and Best Bets
With Barcelona looking to field a strong squad it’s hard to see them dropping points here. The chance to extend the gap at the top to 8 points over Real is also an opportunity they won’t want to miss either.
Barcelona to win both halves @ 4.75 (15/4) with William Hill.
Handicap, Barcelona -1 @ 3.00 (2/1) with Betfair.