Barcelona hosts Athletic Bilbao in a derby match at Camp Nou on June 23, 2020.
Barca looks to rebound and keep the lead in the race for the Spanish La Liga title tight. The Catalan giants were forced to a 0-0 draw against Sevilla in their last match. Meanwhile, Athletic Bilbao is looking to charge towards the Europa League as they have not lost any of their last three matches and are just five points away from that coveted 7th place.
This fixture will air live via beIN Sports at 4:00 EST.
Heading to Sunday’s contests, Barcelona is the team on top of the Spanish La Liga mountain right now with a total of 65 points earned from a record of 20 wins, 5 draws, and five losses. They are just three points up on Real Madrid which are playing on Sunday at Real Sociedad. With Real looking to equalize on points, Barca cannot afford another slip-up here.
In their last match, Barcelona figured in a 0-0 tie against Sevilla. Neither team threatened to score in the match as Messi had a tough day for Barca. Barcelona had 64% of possession time and made 88% of the correct passes. However, they only had four shots on goal with nine corner kicks and Sevilla had the better chances to score here.
Lionel Messi leads Barcelona with a total of 21 goals on the year. Luis Suarez has found the back of the net in a total of 11 instances while Antonio Griezmann also has netted nine times for Barca. Messi also leads the squad with a total of 14 assists on the season while Suarez and Griezmann have combined for a total of 12 assists on the season.
Barcelona is the top goal-scoring team in the Spanish La Liga with a total of 69 goals scored this season. Meanwhile, they are sixth overall in goals conceded with a total of 31 allowed this term. Barca is also the league’s top passing team with a total of 51 assists while their +38 goal difference is also tops in Spain this season.
Odds from BetOnline as of 06/22/2020
Athletic Bilbao are sitting on 9th place in the Spanish La Liga team standings with a total of 42 points earned from 10 wins 12 draws, and 8 losses. They are in the thick of the battle for the Europa League and are just five points off seventh place Villareal who hold the final Europa League position and are also six points adrift of 5th place Getafe in the Primera Division.
In their last assignment, Athletic Bilbao came up with a hard-earned 1-0 home win over Real Betis. Inigo Martinez netted the winning goal in the seventh minute and that was all they needed to get all three points. Sergio Canales’ penalty in the 86th minute went over the crossbar and Athletic Bilbao remained undefeated since the restart of the 2019-20 La Liga season. Athletic Bilbao only had 43% of possession time and made 76% of the complete passes. They also had 11 corner kicks and 3 shots on goal against Real Betis.
Midfielder Raul Garcia leads Athletic Bilbao with a total of 10 goals on the season while Inaki Williams has found the back of the net on six instances. Iker Muniain also has scored five goals for Athletic Bilbao. Ander Capa leads the squad with four assists while also scoring two goals while Unai Lopez and Inigo Cordoba each have three assists this term for Athletic Bilbao.
Athletic Bilbao is one of the best defensive teams in the league this season and they have conceded only a total of 26 goals which is 3rd best overall. They are ranked 13th in goal scoring with a total of 33 on the year and Athletic Bilbao is also tied for 13th with a total of 18 assists on the year. Their goal difference of +7 puts them in 8th place in the Spanish top flight.
Barcelona is the best home team in the Spanish Primera Liga with a record of 14-1-0 or 43 points earned at Camp Nou this season. However, Athletic Bilbao has won both of its matches against Barca this season, winning 1-0 on opening day and emerging victorious again 1-0 in the Copa del Ray quarterfinals.
Barcelona hasn’t won against Athletic Bilbao in their last four head to head matches but the Barca has not dropped a match against Athletic Bilbao in their last 22 meetings at Camp Nou. Overall, these teams have played in a total of 227 head to head meetings and Barca has the big edge with a record of 113-38-76 over that period.
Dembele is still hurt and it remains to be seen if he will be back again this season. Meanwhile, De Jong will be out for about a week with a foot injury. After firing Valverde as their head coach, Barcelona hired Setien but he hasn’t done wonders for Barcelona so far.
Athletic Bilbao’s players are those who have connections to the Basque region where the team originates and while there are excellent players from that area, I think that they don’t have enough firepower to match with Barcelona.
We haven’t seen Messi struggle too much this season and after a poor outing, I expect him to be back to his old ways. It’s hard for me to imagine the league’s top-scoring team being held scoreless in back to back matches. I like Barca to bounce back with a win at Camp Nou.
Odds from BetOnline as of 06/22/2020
Barcelona has not conceded a goal in their last four matches and they have scored in three out of those four assignments. Meanwhile, Athletic Bilbao has seen both sides score in four out of their last five matches and they have conceded in three out of their last four assignments. However, the last five matches between these two sides have yielded a total score of over 2.5 goals.
Prediction: Under 3 goals (-111)