FC Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao: Four Things to Expect from the Match

The win against Napoli on Thursday was another needed booster likely to motivate the Catalan giants into outperforming themselves as they line up against Athletic Bilbao tonight.

After an unexpected draw against city mates, Espanyol, the Catalans has seen a rise in fortune and may be gunning for the third place after usurping Atletico Madrid to the 4th position.

What can we expect from this rejuvenated Barca side against a Bilbao team that knocked them out of Copa del Rey?

1. Revenge Mission

If anything, La Blaugrana seem to have found their footing at the right time in the current campaign as La Liga football continues to wind up.

Memphis Depay who recently returned from injury was also included in the squad list after missing out due to injury. His return is a huge boost for the Catalan side even though he may not start the game.

With the league title a little bit out of their reach, Barca will aim to finish in a nice position in the league. However, to do so, they must first win Athletic Bilbao at the Nou Camp tonight.

The games between the two teams is always a firecracker, so expect fireworks. However, with Barca’s form at the moment, Bilbao may be in for a wild night.

2. Chance to Leapfrog Real Betis

Should Sevilla win against Real Betis in the battle of the top, Barca will have the opportunity to move up the league table and occupy the 3rd position if they win Bilbao tonight.

Therefore, as well as revenge for Copa del Rey knockout, Barca will be playing their hearts out to go a bit further up the table as they continue to fight for a Champions League place.

3. Xavi’s Experiments to Continue…or not.

Some first team members like Ter Stegen, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri are particularly guaranteed a place under Xavi’s new Barca. However, the rest of the spots are up for grabs.

But, with the recent form of new arrival Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, it is doubtful the coach will keep him on the bench especially as the team has been wasteful in front of the post.

Dani Alves is expected to return while Sergino Dest will play in place of Alba due to suspension. However, we do know that Xavi may not want to thinker with the strategy that is producing great results already.

4. Another Masterclass?

FC Barcelona have won their last three big opponent’s by scoring at least four (4) goals in each of the games. With everything still left to fight for and their ever cheering supporters behind them, the team may produce another season defining result against a familiar foe.

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