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ATH vs BAR | Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona – Match Preview

Match Details

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona – La Liga

11th February, 01:15 IST

San Mames Stadium, Bilbao

 

Form:

Athletic Bilbao: W W D W L

Barcelona: L W W D D

 

Preview:

League leaders FC Barcelona will face a stiff test when they travel to the Basque country to take on 13th-place Athletic Bilbao in La Liga tonight. 

The Catalans drew 1-1 with their bitter rivals Real Madrid in the 1st leg of the semi-final of the Spanish Copa Del Rey at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night. Before that, Barcelona managed to grind out a 2-2 draw with Valencia at the Camp Nou in La Liga thanks to majestic Lionel Messi equalizer.  

Athletic Bilbao, on the other hand, will head into this contest on the back of an energy-sapping 2-1 loss to bitter rivals Real Sociedad in the 2nd Basque Derby of the season. The Basques have recovered well from their dismal start to the season in recent weeks and will be hoping to continue their good form against the league leaders tonight.  

An entertaining, high-scoring encounter is in the offing tonight.  

 

Predicted Lineups:

Athletic Club: Iago Herrerín; De Marcos, Yeray, Iñigo Martínez, Yuri; Dani García, Beñat; Raúl García, Muniain, Córdoba; Williams.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Sergi Roberto; Busquets, Rakitic, Arturo Vidal; Malcom, Luis Suárez, Coutinho.

 

Combined XI for the game:

 

 

Captain & Vice-Captain Options:

  1. Luis Suarez
  2. Messi
  3. Inaki Williams
  4. Coutinho
  5. Muniain

 

Must Avoid:

  1. Arthur
  2. Jordi Alba (Suspended)
  3. Rafinha
  4. Cillessen
  5. Umtiti
  6. Aduriz
  7. Ander Capa

 

Strategic Pointers:

  • Valverde says the situation with Messi’s fitness is similar to pre-Madrid on Wednesday. Will train tonight and a late decision made ahead of Athletic match. 
  • Inaki Williams is in great form and was voted as the La Liga player of the month for January. He is a must-have for your side. 
  • Dembele is back in the Barcelona squad but Malcom may get the nod in this match ahead of him. 
  • Athletic Bilbao were on a 7-match unbeaten streak before their loss to Real Sociedad last weekend. 
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