Enough about Lionel Messi, he’s gone. Barcelona already found a way to win without him. One reason is Martin Braithwaite, who he’s already one of the top scorers in La Liga. I’m not saying Braithwaite is as talented as Messi, but he can score.
Braithwaite and company’s second match will be a tough one. Barcelona will pay a visit to Athletic Bilbao, one of the best teams when it comes to defending the fort. Both are unbeaten and will be aiming for first place in Saturday’s matchup. Let’s take a look at the latest news, stats, injury reports and the La Liga Odds for Bilbao vs Barcelona. We’ve plenty of predictions for you to consider.
Game: Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona
Location: San Mames, Bilbao
Time: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET
Television: beIN Sports
Live Stream: fuboTV
La Liga Betting Lines
|Athletic Bilbao||+½ -105||+325||2½ -125o||½ -230o/+180u|
|Barcelona||-½ -115||-115||2½ +105u||1½ -125o/-105u|
Head to Head
- Previous Matches: 212
- Athletic Bilbao Victories: 71 (294 goals)
- Barcelona Victories: 107 (394 goals)
- Draws: 34
Last season, Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona met three times. Barca won all three with a 9-3 aggregate. Both La Liga meetings were thrillers, finishing 3-2 at San Mames and 2-1 at Camp Nou. Their third meeting was in the Copa del Rey Grand Finale and Barcelona crushed Bilbao 4-0.
Barcelona owns a 7-2-1 record in their last 10 meetings with Athletic. They scored 15 goals, allowed five and finished with a clean sheet six times. The total went under in seven of those games.
Athletic’s last victory against Barca was in the 2019-20 season, 1-0 at home.
Why Bet on Athletic Bilbao?
Athletic Bilbao has always been one of La Liga’s main sports betting dark horses. They exclusively play with Basque players, which has allowed them to develop a unique bondon and off the field.
They started the season with a goalless draw against Elche CF. Not bad considering it was on the road and finishing with a clean sheet will always be positive. Last season, Bilbao finished with the best defensive record outside the top five after allowing 42 goals in 38 games.
“Even if we didn’t score a goal, we couldn’t ask for more effort and ambition from the team. It’s the first proper match and playing these fixtures away from home is always complicated,” said manager Marcelino Garcia after their first game.
Garcia took a chance on two very young players, goalkeeper Julen Agirrezabala (20) and center-back Dani Vivian (22). Both performed extremely well, giving the team more depth and physical strength. That also shows that their roster perfectly combines youth and experience. Iker Muniain, Inigo Martinez and Inaki Williams remain the leaders of the team.
Last season, Athletic Bilbao finished with an 8-6-5 record when playing at home. They scored 12 more goals at San Mames than on the road and also allowed four less.
Peru Nolaskoain, Yuri Berchiche, Yeray Alvarez, Ander Capa and Alex Petxa are out due to injury. Their expected lineup is Julen Agirrezabala; Oscar de Marcos, Dani Vivian, Inigo Martinez, Mikel Balenziaga; Alex Berenguer, Unai Vencedor, Dani Garcia, Iker Muniain; Inaki Williams, Oihan Sancet.
Why Bet on Barcelona?
Barcelona started the season on the right foot. They defeated Real Sociedad, last season’s fifth-place team, 4-2. Braithwaite led the way with two goals and an assist while Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto scored one each.
Memphis Depay, one of the team’s new faces, didn’t score. However, he looked very comfortable on the pitch and finished with an assist. Eric Garcia, Emerson Royal and Nico Gonzalez also had a good debut.
“We’ve worked a lot on our game without the ball and on pressing. The first half hour of the game was the best Barca performance in recent years, that’s the path we want to follow,” said manager Ronald Koeman after the game.
Sometimes we forget that Barca’s roster also includes Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri and Sergio Busquets. That’s a pretty good core and don’t forget about Sergio Aguero, who’s recovering from injury.
Last season, Barcelona finished with a 13-2-4 record when playing on the road. They allowed three goals less than they did at Camp Nou.
Captain Gerard Pique said that the veterans will sweat blood if they must for this new era to be successful. That’s what makes Barca more dangerous, as they’re eager to prove that no one is bigger than the club.
Oscar Mingueza is back and ready to go, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Moussa Wague remain out due to injury. Their expected lineup is Neto; Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia, Sergino Dest; Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Pedri; Antoine Griezmann, Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite.
Final Analysis, Predictions
With or without Messi, visiting San Mames is always tough. I expect a fast-paced match, but also a close one. Their last six La Liga encounters finished either with a draw or a one-goal advantage. Barcelona is living emotional times while Athletic Bilbao is all about discipline.
Don’t forget to check the Soccer Props for Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona to increase your winning chances. Our score prediction is offering a +650 price, while Draw and Total Under 2½ is offering a +400 price.
Score Prediction: Athletic Bilbao 1, Barcelona 1