Third time lucky? After slumping to a draw and a defeat in their last two showdowns with Athletic Bilbao, FC Barcelona will be hoping to emerge victorious in this third match-up of the season as they aim to kick off their La Liga title defense with a win in the Basque Country. Thus far, goals have been in short supply in this opening weekend of the La Liga season, but there's no reason to expect that trend will continue in this evening's early kick-off.
Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Aritz Aduriz represent three of the best strikers in the division, and with Gerard Pique suspended, we can probably expect goals from both sides. Indeed, in midweek, Ernesto Valverde's side shipped three second-half goals to Slovakian side, MK Zilina and if that's anything to go by, then maybe the Blaugrana have every reason to feel confident.
Maybe we can ignore the fact that Gerard Gumbau and Juan Camara have been called up to the matrchday squad...
Sure, we're still missing a few key personnel, and a number of others are probably someway off 100%, but we can still do this. Think of how well we started last season, even following the FIFA World Cup? There's no reason at all why we can't emulate that this season too and get our title defense off to the best possible start.
How do you see this one going? Will Barca pick up the win, or will Athletic frustrate us once again? Predict the score of tonight's match by commenting with your prediction below. Best of luck!