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Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona - Routine victory for Barcelona
Barcelona are tipped to pick up a win against Athletic Bilbao
Barcelona are fancied to beat Athletic Bilbao on the opening day (Getty Images)
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Tips, Predictions & Free Bets
Barcelona start their La Liga title defence with an away game at Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames Stadium on Friday evening.
Ernesto Valverde’s team will want to hit the ground running and pick up a comfortable victory. They are priced at 1.61 with bet365 to pick up the win. A win to nil for the reigning Spanish champions is currently priced at 3.00 and that is also one of our tips for the match.
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Match Details
|Date||Friday 16th August|
|Venue||San Mames Stadium|
|Competition||Spanish La Liga|
|Time||20:00 (GMT +1)|
Athletic Bilbao Form & Team News
Athletic Bilbao couldn’t have asked for a more difficult start to their campaign. Gaizka Garitano’s side have had a mixed pre-season, winning four of their eight games, drawing three, and losing one. Their most recent result saw them defeat Mirandes away from home.
The club’s new signing Jokin Ezkieta may be handed a debut on Friday night, while Inaki Williams will lead the line for the club. The 25 year old banged 13 goals for the Basque side last season, and has just put pen to paper on an astonishing nine year deal with the club.
Bilbao will be slightly boosted by the fact that they drew with Barcelona in both games last season.
The home side are unlikely winners on Friday night. Bet365 currently have them priced at 5.00 for the win, while a draw is available at 3.75, which is quite a healthy price for those who fancy an upset.
Barcelona Form & Team News
The biggest story coming out of Barcelona in this game is the absence of captain Lionel Messi. Messi picked up a calf strain in pre-season and is set to miss the opening game in La Liga.
The team will still be feeling incredibly confident without him. They had a strong pre-season, winning five of their six games, including wins against Arsenal and Napoli. Their final victory of the period was a strong 4-0 win over Napoli, with new signing Antoine Griezmann getting his name on the scoresheet.
The former Atheltico Madrid player is likely to be handed his debut on Friday in Messi’s absence.
Barcelona have a very strong record against Bilbao in the past, winning four of their last six outings.
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Analysis- Routine win for Barcelona
Barcelona will come into Friday’s game eager to make a statement and after a strong pre-season, they are likely to do just that.
Bilbao will be bouyed by the fact that they managed to grab two draws against the champions last season but a repeat of that seems unlikely, especially given Barcelona’s attacking form over pre-season. Bilbao also finished last season quite weak and will be dissappointed to have missed out on European football.
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Tips- Back Barcelona for the win
Friday night should see a strong performance from Barcelona. The Spanish champions offer value at 1.61 with bet365.
A win to nil bet offers the best value though, with Barcelona being priced at 3.00 to pick up that result.