La Liga action kicks off on Friday, August 16 with Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona. Barcelona are often regarded as one of the best teams in world football. Their quality and depth is outrageous and they look to start their title defence on the right foot. Athletic Bilbao are coming off a respectable 8th place finish. They will look to build on this momentum and produce another successful season in a highly competitive league. Spanish football is back with Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona.
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Prediction & Match Preview
Friday, August 16 – 15:00 EST – San Mamés Stadium
Barcelona will be favourites in all 38 La Liga games this season. After securing their 26th title last season, Ernesto Valverde will remain the man in charge of the club. It is very likely Lionel Messi will be sidelined with a calf injury. Nonetheless, Barcelona have the squad depth to easily dispatch this Bilbao team. Their attacking trident will most likely consist of Luis Suárez, Ousmane Dembéle and new acquisition Antoine Griezmann. Look for Griezmann to be electrifying in this one as he wishes to start his Barcelona career off with a bang. Frenkie de Jong will also make his La Liga debut on Friday. Under the tutelage of midfield maestro Busquets, De Jong will marshal the Barcelona midfield for years to come.
Athletic Bilbao are a club known for their sporadic dips in form from year to year. Bilbao manager Gaizka Garitano will get his first full season in charge of the club. He took the helm last year at the midway point when the team was struggling and guided them to a respectable 8th place finish. In terms of the Bilbao squad, very little has changed. No significant departures or arrivals for the club. Only time will tell if this will turn out to be a positive or negative influence. The group’s chemistry will strengthen as a result of the absence of lineup changes however this may not be enough to challenge a revitalized Barcelona team. Barcelona have won their opening fixture an incredible 10 times in a row, they will look to make it 11 on Friday.
OUR PICK: BARCELONA TO WIN + OVER 1.5 GOALS @ 2.05 ON BET 365