Athletic Club vs Barcelona 07/01/21
Athletic Club have encountered mixed fortunes across their six previous La Liga matches (W2, D2, L2), with each of the last four featuring under 2.5 goals. Curiously, none of Athletic’s eight home La Liga fixtures this season have ended in a draw (W5, L3), with 87.5% of the games won/lost in this sequence seeing the winner on the day keep a clean sheet (7/8). Conceding the opening goal could indeed mean an end to the home side’s hopes of winning here, considering they have lost eight of ten La Liga matches when letting in the first goal (W1, D1). However, ‘Los Leones’ have avoided defeat in both of their previous top-flight meetings with Barcelona at San Mamés, preserving a blank sheet on each occasion (W1, D1).
Meanwhile, Barcelona have gone undefeated in six consecutive La Liga matches (W4, D2) since shockingly losing to Cadiz on Matchday 12, though three of their four victories across this run came by a narrow one-goal margin. Moreover, the Catalan giants have failed to score in the first half of play in both of their previous league matches, which has happened in five of their last six La Liga trips. Away from home, Ronald Koeman’s men have gone from two consecutive league defeats to back-to-back victories, with three of the games won/lost in this period seeing the victor keep a clean sheet. Barca have suffered just one loss in their last 17 trips to Basque teams (W11, D5), though they have drawn a blank in each of their three previous visits to Athletic in all competitions (D1, L2).