2019-20 Spain LaLiga Betting Pick: Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona

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Barcelona won their 26th LaLiga title and second consecutive last year thanks to weaker competition than it was the case in previous seasons. Check out the Spain LaLiga Betting Pick for the tilt between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona as Blaugrana could be without Lionel Messi in the opener.

Bilbao vs Barcelona Spain LaLiga Betting Pick

•   Spain LaLiga

•   Estadio San Mamés, Bilbao

•   Friday 16 August

•   21:00CET

Bilbao Team News and Latest Form

Bilbao are opening the season at home for the third time in five years against Barcelona. They lost both previous game with the identical scoreline (1-0) while both matches averaged 7.5 yellow cards. So, we can expect another feisty affair on Friday.

The Lions have a good reason to be confident going into this clash as they end the last campaign in a great home form (W4, D1). They averaged precisely 3.0 goals per game across their last three LaLiga home victories, scoring more than half (five) of their nine goals in those wins inside the opening 30 minutes.

Raúl García had a brace in Bilbao’s last LaLiga home match, scoring both goals within the 16th-30th minute period. Bilbao’s previous five home league games against the top-three of 2018/19 have all provided under 2.5 goals (W1, D3, L1).

Gaizka Garitano cannot count on Ibai (calf) and Gorka Guruzeta (knee). Inigo Cordoba (thigh) and Inigo Martinez (illness) are listed as questionable to take on Barcelona.

Barcelona Team News and Latest Form

Barcelona lost only one of the six LaLiga road matches where they allowed first last year (W2, D3, L1). Within that group of games, four (W1, D3) saw Barcelona tied the result with the next game goal, and do so in the same half that produced the opening goal.

All of the stalemates within that period also saw one half produce zero goals. Ten of Barcelona’s previous 12 league visits to San Mames (W6, D5, L1), including all six wins, have seen them shut out the opposition in the first 45 minutes.

Three of Barcelona’s last four LaLiga away victories have seen Luis Suárez score in the 60th minute or later. Since November 2014, Blaugrana have lost just one LaLiga road game after opening the scoring.

Ernesto Valverde will be without the second-choice goalkeeper Neto, who is recovering from a broken hand while Lionel Messi is doubtful with a calf injury.

Bilbao vs Barcelona Head to Head

Barcelona won seven of the last ten H2H duels (D2, L1), but both matches in 2018-19 finished without a winner. Blaugrana was victorious in four of the previous six encounters at San Mames. Bilbao didn’t lose at home in LaLiga since October 2018, and the visitors will face a tough test here.

Bilbao vs Barcelona Spain LaLiga Betting Pick

I don’t expect a lot of goals in this one, especially in the opening 45 minutes. Only one of the previous 12 top-flight H2H meetings at San Mames saw both teams score before half-time. Bilbao failed to score at home just once in 2019, and it was against Barcelona. I am backing them to score this time around, and that’s why my Spain LaLiga Betting Pick is BTTS at 1.75 (-133). Also, you can check out our betting trends for the upcoming weekend here.

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