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Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona - La Liga Champions to begin title defence with away win

Barcelona backed to claim the points in La Liga opener at Atletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona
Barcelona are tipped to begin La Liga title defence with win over Athletic Bilbao (Getty Images)

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips

Barcelona are tipped to have the edge over Athletic Bilbao in their Spanish La Liga opener at San Mames. The Catalans are defending champions and unbeaten in their last six matches against Bilbao. They are backed to begin their campaign with a victory at odds of 1.61.

Athletic Club Bilbao Form & Team News

Athletic Bilbao ended their preseason campaign with a 2-1 victory against Segunda Division team Mirandes. Aritz Aduriz opened the scoring early in the first half while Unai Nunez added the second six minutes after the break.

Los Leones were inconsistent throughout preseason, claiming just three wins from eight matches. Gaizka Garitano's men finished in the top half of the table last season but ended their campaign with just one win from their final four matches. They are expected to struggle against the champions on Friday and are valued at 5.00 to win while a draw is priced at 4.00.

Aritz Aduriz spent most of last season injured but appears to be back to full fitness and should start on Friday. He is likely to be joined in attack by Inaki Williams while Raul Garcia is expected to feature in midfield. 

FC Barcelona Form & Team News

Barcelona earned an emphatic 4-0 victory over Italian Serie A team Napoli in their final preseason fixture. Luis Suarez grabbed a brace for the Catalans while Antoine Griezmann scored his first goal for the club with Ousmane Dembele adding the fourth.

The La Liga champions were excellent in preseason and head into the opening weekend off the back of four straight victories. Ernesto Valverde's men are expected to begin their title defence with a win and are priced at odds of 1.61 to triumph at San Mames.

Captain Lionel Messi missed preseason with a calf strain and is a major doubt for Friday’s La Liga opener. Luis Suarez is likely to lead the line for the Catalans while Antoine Griezmann could be set for his competitive debut. 

Ernesto Valverde
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde set to begin title defence with win over Athletic Bilbao (Getty Images)

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Head to Head 

Barcelona have a 42-9 advantage with 14 draws from 65 previous matches against Athletic Bilbao. The Catalans are also unbeaten in the last six meetings, claiming four victories in that run.

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Match Up

Athletic Bilbao will look to Inaki Williams and Aritz Aduriz for goals on Friday with both men often combining well in attack. With the Catalans expected to dominate the possession, Bilbao’s frontmen could be starved of service.

Even in the absence of Lionel Messi, Barcelona should have enough attacking quality to get past Bilbao. Luis Suarez is coming off an excellent preseason campaign with three goals in as many matches while Antoine Griezmann will take plenty of confidence from his goal against Napoli.

Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann is expected to make his debut for Barcelona (Getty Images)

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Key Statistics 

  • Athletic Bilbao have lost 2 of their last 3 matches (La Liga).
  • Barcelona have won 4 of their last 6 matches against Athletic Bilbao (all competitions).
  • Barcelona have won their last 4 matches (all competitions).


Barcelona are coming off a fine preseason campaign and often do well in this fixture. They are tipped to secure the victory over Athletic Bilbao at odds of 1.61.

Best Bet: Barcelona Win @1.61 at bet365 - 4 Units
Correct Score Tip: Barcelona Win 3-1 @13.00 at bet365 - 1 Unit

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