Preview - Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona 11 February 19

Started by Harry85, Feb 09, 2019, 08:03 AM

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Harry85

Match Day 23
Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona
Monday, February 11th 2019
03:45am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: San Mamés

Athletic Bilbao: 
Last five matches form: W W D W L
Average goals per match: 1.05
Average goals against per match: 1.27
Top Scorer: Iñaki Williams (7)

Barcelona:
Last five matches form: W W W W D
Average goals per match: 2.73
Average goals against per match: 1.05
Top Scorer: Lionel Messi (21)


Can anyone prevent Barcelona from retaining their La Liga title? Six points clear of the chasing pack, it's beginning to look unlikely. They did drop two points at home to Valencia last weekend though, and face what can be a tough away fixture on Match Day 23 as they head to the San Mamés to take on 12th placed Athletic Bilbao.


Barcelona came out on top when winning 2-0 in this game last season, but were held to a 1-1 draw by Bilbao at Camp Nou earlier in the current campaign.


We have a few injuries and suspensions around for both sides here. Athletic Bilbao must do without Peru Nolaskoain, Ander Capa, Aritz Aduriz and Íñigo Lekue. Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, Arthur, Rafinha and Jasper Cillessen are all missing for Barcelona.


Having managed to win only one of their opening 14 in La Liga (although they did draw eight of those games) Bilbao have definitely improved of late with four wins and just one defeat in their past eight. Los Leones have lost only twice in eleven games here so far and will be seeking their third consecutive home victory in this one. The opposition couldn't be much tougher though.


Barcelona have lost only one of their last sixteen in La Liga. Ernesto Valverde's men have won seven of ten away from home, with their sole defeat coming at Leganés. Lionel Messi and his supporting cast have scored two or more in five of their last six on the road.


Bilbao never make it easy for anyone here, and that loss of Jordi Alba is a big blow. That said, we still expect Barcelona to have enough in the locker to pick up the points.


Prediction: Athletic Bilbao 1 - 2 Barcelona



Harry85

Half time:  0 - 0
Full time: 0 - 0
Shots:  13 - 10
Shots on target: 5 - 2
Corner Kicks: 6 - 4
Possession: 33% - 67%

Dani Garcia and Yeray were booked for Bilbao who also had Oscar De Marcos dismissed for a second bookable offence in stoppage time. Clement Lenglet and Sergio Busquets of Barcelona also had their names taken by referee Carlos Del Cerro Grande.

Barcelona as ever dominated the possession stats, but they weren't able to make their usual inroads against what was a determined and stubborn Bilbao rear guard action on the day - a total of just two shots on target being very low by Barca's standards. The home side were more productive with the possession they did have, and it could even be argued they were a little unlucky not to have picked up all three points.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is one of the best pure shot stoppers in the game on his day and he was certainly at his best this evening. Called into action early he got up to deny Markel Susaeta whose effort from range seemed destined for the top left corner.

Barcelona came closest through Lionel Messi when attempting to chip into the empty net from range - his effort clipping the top of the crossbar. 0-0 at the break.

Ter Stegen was then at it at again in the second half with an even better reflex stop to deny Inaki Williams from around six yards. Neither side could find a way through in the end and this one finished goalless.

Barcelona stay top, but find their lead cut just a little down to six points at the end of Match Day 23. An excellent performance and point form Bilbao, but they nevertheless drop down a couple of places to 14th and four points clear of the relegation zone.


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