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Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona, La Liga: Team News, Match Preview

Barça look to build upon an encouraging debut victory with a tough trip to San Mamés

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Athletic Bilbao (13th, 1pt) vs FC Barcelona (3rd, 3pts)


*Points and positions at the time of writing on Friday

Competition/Round: 2021-22 La Liga, Matchday 2

Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Marc-André ter Stegen, Sergio Agüero, Ansu Fati, Óscar Mingueza, Ousmane Dembélé, Philippe Coutinho, Samuel Umtiti, Ilaix Moriba, Miralem Pjanic (out)

Athletic Outs & Doubts: Yuri Berchiche, Peru Nolaskoain, Kenan Kodro, Iñigo Córdoba, Alex Petxa (out), Ander Capa (doubt)

Date/Time: Satuday, August 21, 2021, 10pm CET (Barcelona), 9pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 4pm ET, 1pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Sunday)

Venue: San Mamés, Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain

Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera

VAR: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva

How to watch on TV: Not Available (USA), TSN 3 (Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), MTV (India), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), others

How to watch online: ESPN+ (USA), LaLigaTV (UK), others


Following an exciting win over Real Sociedad in the opening weekend of the new season, Barcelona return to action with a trip to the Basque Country for the first away game of 21-22 against Athletic Bilbao at the amazing San Mamés.

Ever since Marcelino García Toral became Athletic manager, this has quickly become a heated rivalry with these teams facing off four times in the first five months of 2021. Bilbao play physical, defensive football and make it very tough for Barça, but the amazing win from the Catalans in the Copa del Rey Final was a necessary humbling for Athletic.

A new season has started and the Leones are dealing with several injuries and had a very disappointing 0-0 draw away to Elche in the opening game, so they’ll be hoping to rebound from a tough start with a big win against Barça in front of their crazy fans.

Barça were very good for 70 minutes but allowed Real Sociedad to get back in the game last week, so staying alert for the entire match is a must to avoid any surprises against a dangerous and hungry side who are always very good at home.

This should be a fun one, and Barça fans will no doubt dislike Athletic even more no matter what happens. Let’s dance.


POSSIBLE LINEUPS

Barcelona (4-3-3): Neto; Dest, García, Piqué, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Griezmann, Memphis, Braithwaite

Athletic (4-4-2): Agirrezabala; De Marcos, Yeray, Martínez, Balenziaga; Berenguer, García, Vencedor, Muniain; Williams, Sancet


PREDICTION

Always a dumb optimist: 2-1 to the good guys.