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Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao Betting Tips

Published on 7:30pm GMT 17 January 2016

  • 19:30
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    Athletic Bilbao

      Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao Predictions


      These two sides have already met 3 times this season and this is the first of 3 more meetings in the space of 10 days after the clubs were paired together again in the Quarter Finals of the Copa del Rey which commences in the Basque Country on Wednesday night.

      Athletic Bilbao of course famously got the better of their Spanish Super Cup meeting back in August by winning 5-1 on aggregate to end their long wait for silverware but Barca won 1-0 at San Mames just a few days later in the opening weekend of action in La Liga.

      Barcelona are unbeaten in 21 matches now after their 2-0 victory at Espanyol in the 2nd leg of their Copa del Rey derby in midweek. They have dropped points in 3 of their last 5 league games though and can’t really afford another slip-up here. They’ll be hopeful of a repeat performance of their 4-0 home win over Granada last weekend which was inspired by a Leo Messi hat-trick.

      Athletic have also been going well and won both legs of their tough Copa del Rey tie with Villarreal but were beaten 2-0 at Sevilla in the league last weekend and they have lost 3 of their last 5 on the road in the league despite good overall form. After a slow start in the league Athletic are up to 8th now and are strong contenders for at least a top six finish.

      However Ernesto Valverde will surely ultimately pay the price for taking every competition so seriously. They’ve played more games than anyone in Spain this season having started in the Europa League back in July yet they have still opted to play what have been pretty much full strength sides in the Copa del Rey unlike the majority of Primera Division clubs.

      These 3 games against Barcelona will be a big ask for what must be tired legs and they will have to deal with the first meeting without striker Aritz Aduriz who scored 4 of Athletic’s 5 goals in the Super Cup win against the Catalans but is suspended here.

      It’s hard to look past a home win here and Barca have conceded just 1 goal in their last 7 matches so backing Luis Enrique’s side to win to nil at 8/11 looks like a smart move here.

      Athletic have been very impressive this season but Barcelona will want to lay down a marker ahead of the cup matches so consider backing a 3-0 home win at 11/2.

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