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Yalla Shoot :Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona prediction, odds and betting tips

Two Champions League contenders will lock horns as Athletic Bilbao take on Barcelona this Sunday.

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Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona odds

Find the latest match odds for Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona. All odds are provided by our best-reviewed football betting sites. Odds are subject to change.

⚡Quick Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona betting tips

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona predictions

Xavi Hernandez must have felt a weight had been lifted off his shoulders when he announced in late January that he will leave his position as Barcelona manager at the end of the campaign.

Xavi cited the stresses and pressure of a job which also forced Pep Guardiola to call it a day after four successful seasons between 2008 and 2012.

The announcement came in unexpected fashion: during Xavi’s post-match press conference following a 5-3 home defeat by Villarreal. The media learned of his decision before his players did.

Many argued that the head coach had simply jumped before he was pushed. There were initially suggestions that Xavi might not even make it until the summer.

In fact, Barcelona’s results since that loss to Villarreal have been pretty good. They have taken 13 points from the last 15 on offer, including a convincing 4-0 triumph over Getafe last time out.

Barcelona did not exactly deliver a dazzling performance against Napoli in the Champions League, but they are in pole position to advance to the quarter-finals after a 1-1 draw in Italy last month.

There have even been one or two hushed suggestions that Barcelona could yet reel in Real Madrid at the summit of the La Liga standings. 

Barring a miraculous turnaround, that will not happen. But the Blaugrana have at least strengthened their grip on a top-four spot. A win on Sunday would move them 11 points clear of Athletic Bilbao in fifth place – a decisive lead at this stage of the season.

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona betting tips. 18+ BeGambleAware.org - Please play responsibly.

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Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona betting tips. 18+ BeGambleAware.org – Please play responsibly.

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona betting tips

Barcelona have endured a difficult season but there are a few factors in their favour for this one.

Barcelona to win – 7/5 (BetMGM)

Athletic Bilbao were in action in midweek. Barcelona must wish they had been too, but they lost 4-2 to Athletic in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.

The Basque side hosted Atletico Madrid on Thursday in the second leg of the semi-final. Leading 1-0 from the first game, Athletic trounced Atletico 3-0 to advance in style.

On the plus side for Barcelona, they have had a whole week to prepare for this game. That sort of gap between games not only aids the players’ recovery – physically and mentally – but also allows the coaching staff to go into more detail on the opposition.

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Another thing that makes Athletic’s task more challenging is their list of absentees. 

Nico Williams is suspended after being shown a red card against Real Betis last weekend. Dani Vivian is also banned, while Yuri Berchiche picked up an injury in Seville and will not feature here.

San Mames is a tough place to go, but Barcelona – somewhat surprisingly – have not lost a single La Liga game away from home this season. Go for the visitors in this one.

⚽ Choose a Barcelona victory at 7/5 with BetMGM ⚽

Over 2.5 goals – 8/11 (Sporting Index)

In addition to being tough to beat on their travels, Barcelona are La Liga’s joint-highest scorers at opposition stadiums.

Their 24 goals have come in just 12 away games, which compares favourably to Girona’s tally of 24 in 13 outings on unfamiliar turf.

That is one reason why goals look to be on the cards on Sunday. Another is Athletic’s scoring record in front of their own supporters: they lead the way for home goals with 34.

Ernesto Valverde, a manager who many feel was harshly sacked by Barcelona in 2020, will be keen to see his team put on a show against his former employers.

Barcelona’s backline has been ropey for most of the campaign, so Xavi may conclude that attack is the best form of defence.

That is good news for the neutrals, who should be treated to an entertaining encounter in the Basque country.

⚽ Go for over 2.5 goals at 8/11 with Sporting Index ⚽

Gorka Guruzeta to score any time – 23/10 (BetUK)

Barcelona have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 13 away games in all competitions, so Athletic Bilbao will be reasonably confident of breaching their rearguard even with players missing.

With that in mind, the odds on Gorka Guruzeta finding the back of the net are appealing.

He and Inaki Williams are tied at the top of Athletic’s scoring charts with eight goals apiece. Guruzeta has scored two in his last four La Liga matches, while it took him less than a minute to make the net ripple in that 4-2 victory over Barcelona in the Copa del Rey in January.

Athletic will no doubt look to get balls into the box against a Barca team that has struggled to defend its own penalty area all season long.

At 6ft 2in, Guruzeta is a real threat inside the 18-yard box. This could be a good choice regardless of whether you think Athletic or Barcelona will come out on top at San Mames.

⚽ Back Gorka Guruzeta to score any time at 23/10 with BetUK

📺 How to watch Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona

  • Location: San Mames, Bilbao, Spain.
  • Date and time: Sunday 3 March 2024, 8pm.
  • How to watch: Viaplay Sports 1.

About the author

Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football writer from London. He predominantly covers the Premier League and has had work published by the Guardian, FourFourTwo, ESPN and others.

Follow Greg on Twitter @GregLeaFootball

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