MX23RW : Sunday, July 5 08:21:20| >> :120:25754:25754:
Jun 23, 2020 at 9pm UK at Camp Nou
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
Rakitic (71')
Busquets (32'), Rakitic (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Nunez (62')

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

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's La Liga clash between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, including team news and predicted lineups.

Barcelona will be looking to return to winning ways in Spain's top flight when they welcome Athletic Bilbao to Camp Nou on Tuesday evening.

The reigning champions and current leaders were held to a goalless draw by Sevilla on Friday, while Athletic will enter the match off the back of a 1-0 victory over Real Betis on Saturday.

Match preview

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi pictured on June 19, 2020© Reuters

Barca's lead at the top of the table currently stands at three points, but Real Madrid will have the chance to move level on points with the reigning champions when they face Real Sociedad on Sunday night.

Quique Setien's side have been in good form since returning to action on June 13, beating Mallorca and Leganes in back-to-back games before claiming a point at the Estadio Ramon last time out.

The games are coming thick and fast for Barca as they will face Athletic, Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid before the end of the month, and it does not appear that Real Madrid's challenge is going to falter.

Barca have the best home record in La Liga this term, winning 14 of their 15 matches, remaining unbeaten in the process, and there is no question that they will be the favourites to triumph on Tuesday night.

Athletic recorded a 1-0 victory in the reverse match at San Mames earlier this season, though, and also picked up a point at Camp Nou last term. In fact, the Basque outfit are unbeaten in their last three league encounters with Barca, having also drawn their home league match with the Catalan giants during the 2018-19 season.

Athletic Bilbao's Inaki Williams celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on February 6, 2020© Reuters

The visitors have picked up five points from their three matches since returning to action on June 14, following draws against Atletico Madrid and Eibar with a 1-0 success over Real Betis on Saturday night.

Inigo Martinez scored the only goal of the match as Gaizka Garitano's side triumphed at the weekend, and the victory moved them into ninth position in the table.

Athletic are currently 10 points off the top four but sit just six points behind fifth-placed Getafe at this stage, and there is no question that the club will have their eyes on a potential European spot.

The Basque outfit have struggled on their travels this season, though, picking up just two victories from their 15 away fixtures, which is a concern as they head to the side with the best home record in the division.

Barcelona La Liga form: WLWWWD
Barcelona form (all competitions): DLWWWD

Athletic La Liga form: LWWDDW
Athletic form (all competitions): WLWDDW

Team News

Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong after the match on November 5, 2019© Reuters

Barca will again be without the services of Ousmane Dembele due to a long-term hamstring injury, while Sergi Roberto is likely to miss out once again with a rib problem.

Frenkie de Jong should shake off a calf injury to start, though, and Setien is expected to shuffle his pack from the side that started Friday's clash at the Estadio Ramon.

Antoine Griezmann and Arthur both featured off the bench against Julen Lopetegui's side but could now be included in the starting XI, while Ansu Fati is also pushing for a spot in the team.

Luis Suarez played the full 90 minutes against Sevilla, but the Uruguay international could start on the bench against Athletic, having been out for an extended period following knee surgery.

As for Athletic, Yuri Berchiche is suspended due to the yellow card that he picked up against Betis last time out, which could open the door for Mikel Balenziaga to start at left-back.

The bulk of the XI that started at the weekend are expected to once again take to the field, although Mikel Vesga is pushing for a spot in the middle of the park.

Raul Garcia, Inaki Williams and Iker Muniain should all continue in the final third, while Inigo Cordoba is likely to keep his spot in a wide area.

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Arthur, Busquets, De Jong; Griezmann, Messi, Fati

Athletic possible starting lineup:
Simon; Capa, Nunez, Martinez, Balenziaga; D Garcia, Vesga; Cordoba, Muniain, Williams; R Garcia

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We say: Barcelona 2-1 Athletic Bilbao

Athletic are certainly capable of making it a very uncomfortable 90 minutes for Barca, who could be level on points with Real Madrid by the time that they take to the field. The Spanish champions will be determined to return to winning ways following Friday's draw with Sevilla, though, and we fancy the home side to pick up an important three points at Camp Nou.


Who will win Tuesday's La Liga clash between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao?

Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao
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Barcelona manager Quique Setien pictured in January 2020
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1Real Madrid33228361214074
3Atletico MadridAtletico341614446252162
7Real Sociedad33155135042850
8Athletic Bilbao331212938281048
13Real Valladolid34815112837-939
14Real Betis34911144455-1138
16Celta Vigo34714133343-1035

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