Athletic Bilbao - Barcelona Betting Preview: Why the hosts could upset the champions

Our La Liga expert Phil Kitromilides believes a strong away side can cause the depleted hosts some problems on Sunday
Ever since Lionel Messi's injury was confirmed, this has been the fixture that has stood out for Barcelona as being the trickiest in the Argentine superstar's absence.

Athletic Bilbao have made their new stadium a fortress so far this season and remain unbeaten at the new Estadio San Mames. BetVictor offer a home win at 22/5 (5.40) while Barca can be backed at 4/6 (1.65).
Not only are the Catalans without Messi, they also have Victor Valdes missing, which only serves to make their trip to the Basque Country more complicated.

Athletic have been scoring regularly at home, and Barca will do well to stop them getting on the scoresheet again, despite the team from Bilbao missing attacking options through suspension and injury.

Both teams to score looks nailed on but is offered at just 8/13 (1.62) which is sadly too small for us to consider.
Instead try backing Athletic Bilbao or the draw at 5/4 (2.20) in the double chance market.

Bilbao has always been a difficult place for Barcelona to visit, and without their two best players this season, that will be no different on Sunday. Furthermore this bet has paid out in four of the last six meetings between the sides in Bilbao and after seeing Ajax humble Barcelona in midweek, there seems a good chance that the Catalan club could be set for another difficult evening.
Athletic Bilbao or Draw at 5/4 (2.20) 2.0pts with BetVictor

Sign up with BetVictor for a free £25 bet and back Phil's selection for this game

Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV Presenter in Madrid