Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao
Spain – La Liga
Date: Sunday, 18 March 2018
Kick-Off at 15:15 UK
Venue: Camp Nou (Barcelona).
Lionel Messi’s magic has led Barcelona into the quarterfinal of the Champions League past Chelsea who were just powerless against the world’ best player on Wednesday evening at Camp Nou. The Argentine superstar has notched two and beautifully set up another to mark Ousmane Dembele’s maiden goal in Barcelona’s shirt.
The magnificent forward has thus become the second player with 100 or more goals in the Champions League (after Cristiano Ronaldo). Barca will thus enter the weekend’s affair with Athletic Bilbao in high spirits aiming to snatch another comfortable victory in front of the home crowd in Catalonia. Messi skipped last week’s win over Malaga at Estadio La Rosaleda, but he will lad Barca’s attacking lienup in the absence of suspended Luis Suarez who has finally managed to clean yellow cards and he will miss Bilbao’s visit on Sunday.
Nonetheless, the host will be stronger for Philippe Coutinho who has scored his second goal in eighth appearance for Blaugrana last time out against the rock-bottomed Malaga. Coutinho, Messi and Ousmane Dembele promise a truly fantastic afternoon on Sunday at Camp Nou and we can only fear for Bilbao’s disaster in this match-up.
The Basques will come into this low on confidence after losing the second leg of their Europa League tie with Olympique Marseille as well on Thursday evening at San Mames.
Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao: Head-to-head
Bilbao have never been a tricky opposition for Blaugrana at Camp Nou.
Barcelona have won 23 and lost only 2 of 29 home fixtures against the Basques.
Barca eased past their rivals 0-2 on the road when the two teams met in this term of La Liga back in October last year.
Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao: Prediction
Everything suggests a one-sided contest from the very first minute and we can’t predict anything else but a straightforward comfortable victory for the hosts on Sunday.
Apart from backing the home win by three or more goals, we’ll shoot for Philippe Coutinho to score anytime for the hosts at the odds of 1.95.
Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao: Bet Tips
Barcelona -2.5 handicap @ 2.10
Philippe Coitinho to score anytime @ 1.95