Barcelona will be going all-out to take care of business at home when they host visiting Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday, June 23at Camp Nou in a round 31 of Spanish LaLiga showdown. After getting knocked into second place after this weekend’s La Liga action, let’s find out whether Barca is the pick to get it done at home or whether Athletic Bilbao is the pick to pull off the huge road upset, along with their La Liga odds.
La Liga Odds, Analysis and Predictions – Bilbao Vs Barcelona
Why Bet On Barcelona
The reigning champions fell into second place in the La Liga standings after suffering a goalless draw against Sevilla on Friday, that I correctly predicted in the MyBookie news section one day earlier. Barca has scored a league-leading 69 goals while conceding 31 defensively (+38). Barcelona is tied with Real Madrid with 65 points, but based on their March loss against Madrid, they’ve been relegated to second place heading into this match. Barcelona won the possession battle 64-36 percent, but put only four shots on target in the draw. Keeper, Ter Stegen came up with several outstanding saves for Barca. Messi has scored a team-high and league-leading 21 goals while adding 14 assists for Barcelona this season, while Luis Suarez has 11 goals, though none since the restart.
Barca will again be without Ousmane Dembele because of a lingering hamstring injury while Sergi Roberto is likely to miss out once again with a rib problem. Frenkie de Jong is questionable, but Setien is expected back. Antoine Griezmann and Arthur could both be back in the starting lineup after coming off the bench against Sevilla the last time out. Ansu Fati is also pushing for a spot in the starting unit but Suarez played the full 90 minutes against Sevilla, could come off the bench as he continues to make his return from an extended absence following knee surgery. The good news is that Barca has gone a stupendous 14-1-0 at home this season while also going 8-6-1 ATS and 9-6 O/U at home this season.
Why Bet On Athletic Bilbao
Athletic comes into this match off a hard-fought 1-0 win over Real Betis on Saturday as Inigo Martinez scored the only goal of the match. With 42 points, Athletic is in ninth place in the standings with 33 goals scored and 26 allowed (+7). The visitors have gone an impressive 3-2-0 over their last five matches and 1-2-0 in three matches since the restart. Athletic are currently 13 points off the top four but sit just six points behind fifth-placed Getafe at this stage. The bad news is that Athletic Bilbao has gone a discouraging 2-8-5 on the road this season while also going 7-6-2 ATS and 7-5-3 O/U away from home.
Raul Garcia has scored a team-high 10 goals for Athletic Bilbao this season, while Williams has added six goals. Yuri Berchiche is suspended due to the yellow card that he picked up against Betis last time out and now, Mikel Balenziaga is set to start at left-back. Mikel Vesga is pushing for a spot in the middle of the park. Raul Garcia, Inaki Williams and Iker Muniain should all continue in the final third, while Inigo Cordoba is likely to keep his spot in a wide area.
General Match Info Athletic Bilbao (10-12-8) Vs Barcelona (20-5-5)
Expert Analysis and Prediction
Believe it or not, Athletic Bilbao has not lost in four straight against Barcelona while recording a pair of 1-0 win in each of the last two meetings, including their home win on February 6. While Barcelona’s last win in this rivalry was a 2-0 home win back on March 18, 2018, I love the value Barca is offering in this meeting, seeing as how they’ve got a ton of motivation, are unbeaten at home this season and have the better roster of overall talent. Lionel Messi scores to lead the way to victory in this huge meeting for a Barca club that is looking to reclaim the top spot in the LaLiga standings.
Pick: Barcelona 2 Athletic 1