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Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Betting Tips

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Athletic Bilbao

      Tip Reasoning

      Barcelona were involved in an early contender for game of the season on Tuesday night when they let a 4-1 lead slip before eventually winning 5-4 in Extra Time against Sevilla in the European Super Cup final. A couple of sparkling free-kicks from Leo Messi aside there will have been plenty for Luis Enrique to worry about. Sevilla cut through the Barca defence with ridiculous ease at times and missed two great late chances to score a 5th goal.

      The Barca coach won’t have had too much time to work on their defensive problems either with just 72 hours separating that game in Tbilisi from kick-off in Bilbao in Friday night. He named close to his strongest eleven on Tuesday but it was substitute Pedro who netted the winner in what may be one of his final games for the club with the winger keen to secure a move away to secure regular first team football.

      This will be another difficult early season test for last season’s treble winners. San Mames can be a very tough place to go to. Athletic are unbeaten in 8 home matches in a run stretching back to February and it includes a 1-0 win over Real Madrid. Barca did win 5-2 in Bilbao last season but that was before a big upturn in the fortunes of the Basque club.

      Athletic finished very strongly winning 9 and losing only 2 of their final 15 games prior to a 3-1 Copa del Rey Final defeat to Barcelona. They rose up the table to finish 7th and clinch European football again this season. Two goals from Eraso in the home 1st Leg decided their Europa League qualifying tie with Inter Baku and they will be back in European action next week against Zilina.

      That game comes just 2 days after the 2nd Leg of this tie and you have to feel that if Athletic are to have any chance of lifting the Spanish Super Cup then they are going to have to put in a big performance on Friday night.

      They have a chance too. Barcelona are likely to be a bit tired after playing 120 minutes on Tuesday before a long journey back from Georgia. Athletic Bilbao should be a bit ahead of them in terms of match sharpness too having played two Europa League matches already and will have had longer to prepare for this match with the latter of those games over a week ago.

      There is sure to be a large passionate crowd at San Mames and Athletic Bilbao will be far tougher in their own backyard than they were when the sides met in the Copa del Rey Final at Camp Nou at the end of last season.

      Backing Athletic Bilbao to get a result at 9/5 looks like a tempting bet.

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