Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Prediction: Barcelona vs Athletic Club


Verdict: Barcelona to win to nil

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: bet365

Buoyed by the 3-0 hammering of Chelsea in the Champions League Last 16 stage, Barcelona will be looking to make another important step towards the La Liga title when they take on struggling Athletic Club. Los Leones have just crashed out of Europe, while their latest league performances leave a lot to be desired as well.

Barcelona

This is turning into a season to remember for Barcelona, who are still in contention for three major trophies. The Catalans will face Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final, while they are waiting to learn their opponents in the Champions League quarter-finals following the 4-1 aggregate win over Chelsea. Ernesto Valverde’s side have also impressed in La Liga, where they hold an eight-point advantage over Atletico Madrid with 10 games to go.

The Catalans have been in fine form of late, defeating Atletico Madrid (1-0), Malaga (2-0) and Chelsea (3-0) in their last three fixtures and they will want to record another triumph ahead of the winter break. Barcelona players are looking good at the moment, especially with Philippe Coutinho raising his form and Ousmane Dembele back in contention, so we have no doubts they will enjoy a comfortable triumph over out-of-sorts Athletic. It is important to note that the Catalans won last four home games vs los Leones, scoring 15 goals in the process.

Team News

Sergio Busquets is set to miss three weeks of action through injury, while Nelson Semedo and Denis Suarez are expected to be out as well.

Athletic Club

Despite never really relying on a big squad, Athletic Club tend to field strong sides in all the competitions entered, which may be an admirable approach, but also the one that rarely produces results. A couple of months before the season is about to end, los Leones find themselves eliminated from Copa del Rey and Europa League, while occupying 12th position in the league standings. They now sit some nine points behind European positions, meaning it would take a massive effort for the club to secure another Europa League berth.

Athletic have now lost three of last four matches in all competitions, with midweek loss to Marseille piling more misery on head coach Ziganda and his men. However, los Leones did well to pick up seven points from last four league fixtures, climbing to 12th in the standings, but they are still far away from European places. And with a trip to Camp Nou next, Athletic players don’t exactly have a lot to hope for.

Team News

Mikel Balenziaga is still lacking match fitness and may not feature, while Mikel Rico has suffered a recurrence of his injury. Iker Muniain is also sidelined, but Mikel San Jose and Raul Garcia return from European suspension.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Barcelona won last four home games vs Athletic by 2 goals or more
  • The Catalans scored 3 or more in each of those matches
  • Barcelona won 23 of last 25 matches on home soil (D2)
  • Athletic lost three of last four fixtures on all fronts
  • Leo Messi just scored his 100th Champions League goal

Conclusion

Barcelona have been in very good form of late and they should be in good shape after enjoying a comfortable triumph over Chelsea on Wednesday. Athletic, on the other hand, have struggled lately and they will be feeling the ill-effects of Thursday’s encounter with Marseille. We, therefore, expect the Catalans to enjoy an easy win at Camp Nou.

Verdict: Barcelona to win to nil

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerPredictions


SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

avatar
 
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Live Scores

advertisement

Betting Guide Advertisement

advertisement

Become a Writer
More More
Top