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Primera División

  • April 27, 2013
  • • 17:00
  • • Estadio San Mamés, Bilbao
  • Referee: Ignacio Iglesias
  • • Attendance: 39750
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Athletic Bilbao-Barcelona Preview: Deflated Blaugrana aim to wrap up Liga title

Athletic Bilbao-Barcelona Preview: Deflated Blaugrana aim to wrap up Liga title

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Tito Vilanova's side can bounce back from disappointment in Europe by clinching their 22nd domestic championship at San Mames, provided results elsewhere also go their way

  PROBABLE LINEUPS
ATHLETIC BILBAO

Iraizoz
Iraola, Ekiza, San Jose, Aurtenetxe
De Marcos, Gurpegui, Herrera
Susaeta, Llorente, Muniain
BARCELONA

Valdes
Montoya, Adriano, Abidal, Alba
Thiago, Song, Fabregas
Tello, Villa, Sanchez

Athletic Bilbao duo Fernando Amorebieta and Inigo Ruiz de Galarreta have recovered from knee injuries and could feature against Barcelona on Saturday.

However, defender Aymeric Laporte has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee problem, while midfielder Ander Iturraspe is suspended after his red card against Deportivo La Coruna last Sunday.

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova is expected to make wholesale changes to the side that crashed to a 4-0 defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday.

Defenders Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano remain sidelined through injury but Adriano is available after serving a European ban.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Athletic Bilbao have only won three of their last 10 matches in La Liga (W3, D1, L6).
  • Los Leones have lost five of their last six Liga meetings with Barcelona.
  • Athletic's last home win over Barca was a 3-1 success in La Liga in May 2006.
  • Barcelona have won just one of their last six away games in all competitions (W1, D2, L3).
  • The Catalan side will clinch the Liga title if they beat Athletic Bilbao and second-placed Real Madrid lose against Atletico Madrid.
  • Cesc Fabregas (pictured, right) has scored four goals in his last three Liga appearances for Barca.

Players to watch

Gurpegi

Position: Midfielder

Games: 7

  • 0
  • 2
  • 0
The Athletic Bilbao skipper is likely to be pushed into a defensive midfield role from his central-back slot to cover for the suspended Ander Iturraspe. Gurpegui will hope to take a leaf out of Bayern Munich's performance in midweek and nullify Barcelona's goal threat.

Fàbregas

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The former Arsenal midfielder will be out to prove a point after being left as an unused substitute in the midweek loss against Bayern. Fabregas has been in a decent run of goalscoring form and will be keen to put forward his case for inclusion in the team for Wednesday's return leg by performing well at San Mames.

Editor's Prediction

Barca were left in shock by the size and the manner of their defeat against Bayern but they will be motivated by the possibility of clinching their fourth Liga title in five years at San Mames. Athletic are in a dire run of form and could struggle to take advantage of the deflated mood in the visitors' camp.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Athletic Club

Barcelona

Wins
1
1
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Athletic Club Bilbao ATH
Athletic Club Bilbao Athletic Club
Draw
FC Barcelona FCB
FC Barcelona Barcelona
26%
69%

Top 3 Predictions

Athletic Club Bilbao ATH
0 - 3
FC Barcelona FCB
Athletic Club Bilbao ATH
1 - 3
FC Barcelona FCB
Athletic Club Bilbao ATH
0 - 2
FC Barcelona FCB

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