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Primera División

  • December 1, 2012
  • • 19:00
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
  • • Attendance: 68346
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Barcelona - Athletic Bilbao Preview: Unbeaten Blaugrana will look to make La Liga history

Barcelona - Athletic Bilbao Preview: Unbeaten Blaugrana will look to make La Liga history

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Tito Vilanova's side have equalled the best ever start to a domestic campaign and could go one better with a win over their struggling Basque visitors

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

BARCELONA

Valdes
Montoya, Pique, Puyol, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas
Pedro, Messi, Iniesta

ATHLETIC BILBAO

Iraizoz
De Marcos, Ekiza, Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe
Herrera, Iturraspe, Muniain
Susaeta, Aduriz, Gomez


Barcelona defender Dani Alves will miss Saturday's Primera Division encounter against Athletic Bilbao with a hamstring injury.

Alexis Sanchez, Marc Bartra and Isaac Cuenca all remain sidelined, while Adriano (illness) is a doubt.

Athletic Bilbao are set to be without right-back Andoni Iraola, who suffered a muscle injury during training.

Coach Marcelo Bielsa will make wholesale changes to the side that beat Ironi Kiryat Shmona in the rearranged Europa League match on Wednesday.

Midfielder Carlos Gurpegui is still out but striker Aritz Aduriz returns after a one-match ban.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Barcelona have won 10 of their last 11 matches in all competitions.
  • The Catalans will make the best ever start in the Spanish league's 113-year history with a win over Athletic Bilbao, overhauling Real Madrid's record set in 1991-92.
  • David Villa (pictured, right) scored his 300th career goal in the 3-1 Copa del Rey win over Alaves.
  • Athletic Bilbao have won just four of their last 16 matches in all competitions (W4, D5, L7).
  • Los Leones have lost five of their last seven meetings with Barcelona, including last season's Copa del Rey final.
  • Athletic's last Liga win over Barca was a 3-1 home success in May 2006.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
12Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
3PiquéDefender
18Jordi AlbaDefender
21AdrianoDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
6XaviMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
16BusquetsMidfielder
10MessiStriker
7PedroStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
5Carles PuyolDefender
2MontoyaDefender
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
17Alex SongMidfielder
7David VillaStriker
37TelloStriker
1IraizozGoalkeeper
3AurtenetxeDefender
35AmorebietaDefender
23Borja EkizaDefender
-RamalhoDefender
8IturraspeMidfielder
14SusaetaMidfielder
21Ander HerreraMidfielder
10Óscar De MarcosMidfielder
11Ibai GómezStriker
20Aritz Aduriz ZubeldiaStriker
13Raúl Fernández MateosGoalkeeper
6Mikel San José DomínguezDefender
-Xabi CastilloDefender
26Igor Martínez CaserasMidfielder
5Erik MoránMidfielder
2ToqueroStriker
14Fernando LlorenteStriker
Players to Watch
Andrés Iniesta Luján
Andrés Iniesta Luján
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The 28-year-old was in imperious form last weekend as he scored one and set up three in a 4-0 win over Levante. With Alexis Sanchez still absent through injury, Iniesta will be relied upon to provide guile and creativity in the final third of the pitch.
Muniain
Muniain
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 19
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
While yet to hit the dizzy heights of last season, the Pamplona-born winger remains a major threat on the counterattack. Muniain will look to get the better of Martin Montoya down the left flank and open his Liga account for the season.
Prediction
Barcelona are flying at the moment, while Athletic are struggling to pick up points away from home. All signs point to a banker home win.
Editor's Prediction
Bilbao 0

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