11 February 2019
An improving Athletic Bilbao side host La Liga leaders Barcelona to the Estadio San Mames desperately looking to end a ten-game LL winless streak against the Catalan giants (D1, L9).
Having suffered just one loss in their previous eight La Liga outings (W4, D3, L1), the hosts have finally escaped the relegation territory, but they still have a long way to go before securing the top-flight survival. The one thing Gaizka Garitano can rely on ahead of this encounter is the fact his players feel far more comfortable at home, as four of Athletic’s five LL triumphs have come at San Mames. But, for them, goals have been at a premium during the past couple of months. Los Leones’ attacking problems have seen them score over 1.5 goals per match in just two of their last ten games across all competitions, though failing to hit the net only once in the process. Surely the most important aspect for Bilbao in this clash will concern their defensive game that has proved to be more than looking at their recent home outings. Atheltic’s backline has preserved four clean slates in the previous six LL fixtures, restricting their opponents to one match goal in the remaining two.
On the other hand, the visitors are eager to stretch a ten-game La Liga unbeaten run (W8, L2) and keep second-placed Atletico Madrid on a six-point distance. The reigning holders have racked up a four-game LL road winning streak coming into this meeting, as they stand as the only Spanish team to secure seven wins after ten league road trips (W7, D2, L1). The Blaugrana’s tally of 60 goals scored in 22 LL clashes is a comfortable league high, with the Catalans also bagging more goals away from home than any other Spanish team so far (22). To make things even more complicated for the hosts, Ernesto Valverde’s men have conceded the fewest goals on the road in the Spanish top tier this term (8), keeping a clean sheet in three of their last four LL road clashes.
Provisional line-up – Athletic Bilbao:
Gk: Herrerin Defense: Berchiche – San Jose – Inigo Martinez – Alvarez Midfield: Oscar de Marcos – Ibai Gomez – Dani Garcia Attack: Cordoba – Inaki Williams – Muniain
Provisional line-up – Barcelona:
Gk: Marc-Andre ter Stegen Defense: Vermaelen – Pique – Sergi Roberto – Semedo Midfield: Arturo Vidal – Rakitic – Carles Alena Attack: Coutinho – Suarez – Leo Messi
26 July 2020 Newcastle United and Liverpool will face off against each other at the St. James Park this weekend in their final match of the …Read More
26 July 2020 Manchester City will look to maintain an unbeaten Premier League home record in 2020 (W7, D1) when they take on dead-last Norwich City …Read More
26 July 2020 Leicester City (5th) and Manchester United (4th) go head-to-head at the King Power Stadium in the final round of the 2019/20 Premier League …Read More
27 July 2020 The two out-of-form Serie A sides will face off against each other at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi this weekend, as Hellas Verona take …Read More
27 July 2020 Out-of-sorts Juventus welcome unpredictable Sampdoria to the Allianz Stadium this weekend, looking to seal three points and clinch a record-extending ninth successive Serie …Read More