Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao Betting Tips, Preview & Predictions
In a sentence: In this La Liga tie table-toppers Barcelona host an Athletic Bilbao side that is sitting comfortably in midtable.
Last time: The last league meeting at Camp Nou in February 2017 between these sides was a 3-0 win for Barcelona where Paco Alcacer, Lionel Messi, and Aleix Vidal got on the scoresheet.
This time: Barcelona are 1/6 to win this game, while Bilbao are 22/1 and the draw is 7/1.
You might remember: A hefty 6-0 home win in the league for Barcelona in January 2016. Luis Suarez netted himself a second-half hat-trick, while Lionel Messi tucked away a penalty to add to goals by Neymar and Ivan Rakitic. Barca should win again this time but only the bravest of football predictions would expect it to be by that kind of margin.
FC Barcelona's Last Six:
Won: 4 Drawn:2 Lost: 0
Sergio Busquets limped off with a foot injury in the win over Chelsea and will be out for a few weeks. Denis Suarez and Nelson Semedo are close to making a return to training but won’t be ready for this game. Sergi Samper is a long-term injury absentee. Luis Suarez is suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards.
Athletic Bilbao's Last Six:
Won: 2 Drawn: 1 Lost: 3
Iker Munian is close to making a comeback to first-team action after missing most of the season with a cruciate Ligament injury but is still a few weeks off yet. Mikel Balenziaga and Mikel Rico are also on the treatment table.
Barcelona come into to this game having just knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League with some ease and by a scoreline of 3-0. The Catalan club are still unbeaten this season and have dropped points just twice at home, drawing with Celta Vigo and Getafe while winning every other match at the Camp Nou. It’s easy to see why most football predictions back Barca at home.
Athletic Bilbao had a decent 2-0 win over Leganes last week at home but have won just twice in their last 10 games in the league. They have won only three times on their travels in La Liga this season, against Eibar, Levante, and Real Betis, drawing four games and losing seven. The free football betting tips don’t favour Athletic when they’re outside the Basque Country.
Barcelona are 1/6 to win this game and have had the best of the recent head to head between the sides by beating Bilbao in their last eight league meetings. They have also not lost to Athletic at home in 20 matches in all competitions going back as far as 2001. A 2-0 win for the Blaugrana is around 5/1 and may prove to be one of the more realistic football predictions for today.
Athletic are 22/1 to cause an upset and win this game but are on a bad run of form and, winless in their last five La Liga games. They also lost to Barca 2-0 at home earlier in the season in something of a La Liga preview for this tie. Its 50/1 for Bilbao to nick a 1-0 win.
The draw is 7/1 and there has just been one draw between these sides in their last 16 meetings in all competitions, a 0-0 draw is 22/1, while a 1-1 can be found at 14/1. Parity would be a surprise and not one of the better football betting tips for the weekend.
Lionel Messi is on 24 league goals already and is 15/8 to open the scoring in this game, with the wonderful Argentine always cropping up in football score predictions. Ousmane Dembele netted his first goal for Barca in the win over Chelsea and is around 4/1 to be the first goalscorer of this game.
Bilbao’s top goalscorer Aritz Aduriz, with eight league goals to his name, is 11/1 to score the first goal and 3/1 to score anytime, while Philippe Coutinho is 11/8 to score at any point in the game and given Barca’s packed schedule as the season comes to a close, it’s one of the safer La Liga predictions to suggest the ex-Liverpool man will get more playing time.
Predicted Score: FC Barcelona 3 - 1 Athletic Bilbao
Look out for:
The home side to maintain their unbeaten run. Paco Alcacer should come in for the suspended Luis Suarez and Ousmane Demebele is finally back on the field giving Barca some more attacking options. The Frenchman is 11/2 to score two or more goals.
Barcelona to win by a two-goal margin, which is 3/1. The home side have beaten Bilbao by a two-goal margin in three of the last seven meetings in all competitions between them. It is 11/1 for Barca to win this game 3-1 and it is 6/4 for both teams to score.
It’s a long shot, but:
Aritz Aduriz is 15/1 to score the last goal of the game. The veteran striker has 19 goals in all competitions this season and has netted eight times in the last 15 meetings with Barcelona. Inaki Williams can also be found at around 25/1 to be the last goalscorer.
Written by Ciro Di Brita
Ciro Di Brita is a football fan and fanatic of all things Naples – not least Napoli. A published author and novelist based in Ireland, Ciro will happily turn his hand to writing on any topic but will always try to work in a reference to Napoli wherever possible.