Barca are hoping for the first win in four games at San Mames, while they are also looking to extend the unbeaten run to seven matches. The hosts will play the first game under new head coach Marcelino, so check out our Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Preview.
Athletic Bilbao Recent Form & Team News
Still in firm contention for a Europa League qualification berth, Athletic Bilbao recovered well after losing the Basque derby 1-0 vs Sociedad, reversing that scoreline against Elche. In turn, they ensured that three of their last four LaLiga games won/lost have seen the victor on the day lead 1-0 at HT.
Given their opponents’ off-colour season to date, Bilbao will believe they can win. For the benefit of those expecting likewise, it should be noted that Bilbao have not relinquished a lead (when taken) at any point across their last 15 LL home victories – in a sequence spanning back to May 2019.
Player to watch: Bilbao stalwart Iker Muniain scored the winner vs Elche (Jan 3). His only prior goal vs Barcelona (Dec 2013) proved decisive in a 1-0 win.
Marcelino will be without Yeray Alvarez (muscle), Unai Lopez (knee), and Peru Nolaskoain (muscle).
Barcelona Recent Form & Team News
With games in hand over the team in third, Barcelona still have hopes of ensuring the usual ‘top three’ for a ninth successive year. They have gone six games unbeaten (W4, D2), within which they twice won the second half 1-0 in the course of victory.
Meanwhile, three of the four halves played across the draws in the above sequence produced exactly two match goals – all individually yielding a 1-1 scoreline. However, Barcelona’s LaLiga away form since the end of the October international break is in negative territory (W2, D1, L3), with the Blaugranes conceding the decider before the hour mark in two of those three losses.
Player to watch: Frenkie de Jong’s own clincher, in Barcelona’s win vs Huesca by the same scoreline as Bilbao’s (Jan 3), ensured that each of his four prior goals for the club have come in the first half of a victory.
Hot stat: None of the last 17 LL H2H meetings between these sides have seen both teams score before HT.
Ronald Koeman cannot count on Philippe Coutinho (knee), Anssumane Fati (knee), Gerard Pique (knee), and Sergi Roberto (thigh).
Our Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Preview is here to make your life easier when you predict the outcome of the game. Take a look at our other LaLiga previews and news!