La Liga Match Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona

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Updated: November 28, 2013
Barcel

Match Date: 01 December 2013 (local)

Match Venue: San Mamés

 

Athletic Bilbao

The bulk of Athletic Bilbao’s points this season were obtained from home matches. Of the eight wins and two draws they achieved, more than half were a result of a massive conquest on the side’s own territory. Los Leones currently rank in fifth place, a position they have been able to keep for five consecutive weeks now.

 

Kike Sola and Aritz Aduriz would be unable to appear in the club’s next tourneys; the latter being responsible for three of Bilbao’s 22 goals this season. Despite the absences, Ernesto Valverde still roots for an optimistic run in the Spanish top-flight league. He is holding on to his troupe’s skills on coming back from losing positions as well as aerial duels to secure victory in the impending fixtures.

 

Barcelona

Barça’s massive success this season is yet to come to a sudden halt, as the team remain unbeaten for 14 fixtures running (the only club to attain such feat, thus far). Still the reigning leaders, Barcelona have only scored a draw (with Osasuna 0-0) once starting as far back as May of this year, with total earnings of 40 points.

 

At the domestic level, Gerardo Martino’s men are incredibly dangerous, but in the continental joists, they have slightly loosened their traction to success. The team were surprisingly beaten by Ajax in the Champions League, marking the first time the side fell off the cliff after 23 successful runs across all competitions. The Dutchmen went 2-0 up in the first period, but a red card for Veltman and a converted penalty for Xavi could have changed the results by the second half.

 

Football betting tip: Athletic Bilbao will once again prove their fierceness in their own turf, but Barcelona are also well-equipped to display impressive away stunts. A defensive finish should mold this tourney, and a draw is likely to take place.

 

Barcelona | Image source: caughtoffside.com