Barcelona - Athletic Bilbao Betting Preview: Back a high-scoring encounter at Camp Nou

Our Spanish expert Phil Kitromilides believes the meeting between the Catalans and the Basques will see at least four goals in what promises to be a fiery clash
Barcelona host Athletic Bilbao on Saturday evening aiming to stretch their lead over champions Real Madrid to 14 points.

With Los Blancos playing after the Catalans, a victory for Tito Vilanova's men would heap even more pressure on Madrid ahead of their derby with Atletico.

William Hill price Barca at 1/10 (1.10) to record a victory at the Camp Nou, while Athletic can be backed at 20/1 (21.00), with the draw offered at 17/2 (9.50).

Yet with these two sides meeting each other the only logical bet seems to be to back a high scoring fixture given the statistics.

Barca's matches average by far the most goals in La Liga, with 4.46 netted per league encounter so far. Athletic meanwhile are not far behind with their league games averaging 3.46 goals, the fourth-highest in the Spanish top flight.

Goals then look almost certain to be on the agenda in Catalonia, and the price of 61/100 (1.61) for over 3.5 goals is just about big enough to invest in.

This bet has paid out on 14 occasions in all competitions for Barcelona so far this season, as well as proving the correct selection in nine of Athletic's competitive fixtures to date.

With Barcelona scoring at least three goals in each of their last five matches, and the Basques finding the back of the net in six consecutive games, backing a high-scoring game looks to be the logical choice, and with the price of 61/100 (1.61), the selection can be used as a single bet or as part of an accumulator.

For some higher odds, try backing Xavi to score at any time offered at 9/4 (3.25). The midfielder has already netted four times this season, and having enjoyed his best ever goal scoring season in the last campaign he remains a potent goal threat.

Over 3.5 goals at 61/100 (1.61) with William Hill
Xavi to score at any time 9/4 (3.25) with William Hill

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.