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La Liga Preview: Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao

Barcelona will look to put their Champions League disappointment behind them this weekend when they face Athletic Bilbao.

The Catalans travel to the Basque country knowing that victory combined with a win for Atletico in the Madrid derby will see them crowned as champions for the fourth time in five seasons.

It will be the last time Barca will play at the San Mames before Bilbao move to their new stadium next season, and they will be keen to record a final victory on a ground that they have not lost at since 2006.

Midfielder Andres Iniesta knows exactly what to expect from Marcelo Bielsa’s side and is eager for the game to come around quickly so they can wrap-up the title.

“After the Champions League match we need to change the team around a bit and our mentality,” he told reporters.

“We will travel to Bilbao with a winning mentality and with the intention of closing in on the league title.

“They like to play the ball a lot and it is going to be a tough game like it usually is against them, but there’s no choice but to lift ourselves after the match the other day and close in on the league title – which we are very close to doing – and the sooner we do that the better.”

Bilbao will be hoping to arrest their recent slump in form so that they don’t continue to drop back down towards the bottom of the table.

Bielsa’s side have not won any of their last three La Liga matches and were beaten 3-0 by Real Madrid in their last home fixture.

Thu 25 April, 2013
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