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Feb 27, 2022 at 8pm UK at Camp Nou
Barcelona
4 - 0
Athletic Bilbao
Aubameyang (37'), Dembele (73'), de Jong (90'), Depay (90+3')
Busquets (48'), Pique (70')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Balenziaga (54')

Preview: Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Barcelona will be looking to stretch their unbeaten run of form in La Liga to 10 matches when they welcome Athletic Bilbao to Camp Nou on Sunday night.

The Catalan giants are currently fourth in the table, 15 points behind division leaders Real Madrid, while Athletic occupy eighth, two points behind sixth-placed Villarreal heading into the next set of fixtures.


Match preview

Barcelona are back at Camp Nou this weekend after two successful away trips, beating Valencia 4-1 in the league last weekend before recording a 4-2 victory at Napoli on Thursday in the second leg of their Europa League knockout round playoff tie to advance to the next stage 5-3 on aggregate.

Xavi's side are not in a title race this season, currently sitting down in fourth spot in the table, 15 points behind leaders Real Madrid, but they are only four points behind third-placed Real Betis and will certainly be targeting a top-three this term, which would not be a disaster considering their problems early in the season.

Barcelona chiefs are allegedly prepared to back Xavi in this summer's transfer window, having been impressed with his work at the helm, and the club are actually unbeaten in the league since the start of December, winning five and drawing four of their last nine top-flight fixtures.

The Catalan outfit have won seven, drawn two and lost two of their 11 home league matches this season to collect 23 points, and they will be coming up against an Athletic side that have lost just twice on their travels in Spain's top flight, picking up 17 points in the process.

Barcelona played out a 1-1 draw with Athletic in the reverse match at San Mames earlier this season but recorded a 2-1 victory when the pair locked horns at Camp Nou last term.

Athletic, meanwhile, will enter this weekend's contest off the back of a thumping 4-0 win over Real Sociedad, with Dani Vivian, Oihan Sancet, Inaki Williams and Iker Muniain on the scoresheet in the derby success.

The victory left the Basque outfit in eighth position in the table, just two points behind sixth-placed Villarreal, and there is no question that they will be targeting a Europa League finish come the end of the season.

Athletic have won three of their last four in Spain's top flight, while they have lost just one of their last six during an impressive run of form, so the visitors will enter this weekend's contest full of coincidence.

Marcelino's side are also in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, drawing 1-1 with Valencia in the first leg of their last-four tie, with the second leg due to take place at the start of March.

As mentioned, the Lions, who finished 10th last term, have only lost two of their 13 away league matches during the 2021-22 campaign, but they have not avoided defeat at Camp Nou in Spain's top flight since September 2018 and will certainly be the underdogs heading into this contest.

Barcelona La Liga form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Barcelona form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Athletic Bilbao form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Team News

Barcelona remain without the services of a number of first-team players, with Samuel Umtiti, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Alejandro Balde all out, but Memphis Depay and Clement Lenglet should be available.

The Catalan giants will be missing Jordi Alba through suspension, meanwhile, so Sergino Dest could switch across to the left-back position, with Dani Alves returning at right-back.

Head coach Xavi is unlikely to make many changes from the side that featured against Napoli on Thursday, but there could be a return for Gavi, with the teenager potentially coming in for Adama Traore.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should again lead the line, though, with the 32-year-old scoring four times in five appearances for the club since his arrival in January.

As for Athletic, Nico Williams will again miss the contest due to a hamstring problem, while Alex Berenguer is unavailable for selection due to a suspension.

The Basque outfit could also be without the services of Yeray Alvarez, but Mikel Vesga should recover from a head injury to feature in central midfield alongside Dani Garcia.

Sancet came off the bench to score against Real Sociedad and could now earn a spot in the starting side, while Oier Zarraga - available again following a suspension - should feature in the first XI.

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Alves, Araujo, Pique, Dest; F de Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Torres, Aubameyang, Gavi

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; De Marcos, Martinez, Alvarez, Berchiche; Zarraga, Vesga, D Garcia, Muniain; I Williams, Sancet


We say: Barcelona 2-1 Athletic Bilbao

Barcelona have won 19 of their last 23 home matches against Athletic in all competitions, and it is difficult to ignore that record when picking a result here. Athletic were excellent last time out against Real Sociedad, but we are expecting Barcelona to make it three straight victories with a narrow success at Camp Nou.


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La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid30216361263569
2Barcelona29169457292857
3Atletico MadridAtletico30176757372057
4Sevilla301512340202057
5Real Betis30165954361853
6Real Sociedad3014973029151
7Villarreal30129948291945
8Athletic Bilbao30111183529644
9Valencia30101194243-141
10Osasuna30108123040-1038
11Celta Vigo3099123434036
12Espanyol3099123542-736
13Rayo Vallecano2996143136-533
14Getafe30711122833-532
15ElcheElche3088143142-1132
16Granada30611133348-1529
17CadizCadiz30513122541-1628
18Mallorca3068162650-2426
19Levante30410163358-2522
20AlavesAlaves3057182452-2822
Scroll for more - Tap for full version

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La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid30216361263569
2Barcelona29169457292857
3Atletico MadridAtletico30176757372057
4Sevilla301512340202057
5Real Betis30165954361853
6Real Sociedad3014973029151
7Villarreal30129948291945
8Athletic Bilbao30111183529644
9Valencia30101194243-141
10Osasuna30108123040-1038
11Celta Vigo3099123434036
12Espanyol3099123542-736
13Rayo Vallecano2996143136-533
14Getafe30711122833-532
15ElcheElche3088143142-1132
16Granada30611133348-1529
17CadizCadiz30513122541-1628
18Mallorca3068162650-2426
19Levante30410163358-2522
20AlavesAlaves3057182452-2822
Scroll for more - Tap for full version


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