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Athletic Club vs Barcelona Betting Tips: Latest odds, team news, preview and predictions

10:00 AM GMT 15/08/2019
Luis Suarez Barcelona 2019-20
The champions begin their La Liga campaign in Bilbao without Lionel Messi, and so it could be another low-scoring contest between these two teams

La Liga gets underway on Friday evening as Barcelona head to the Basque Country to face Athletic Club at San Mames.

Ernesto Valverde's men earned their eighth league title in 11 seasons back in May and they are favourites once more, having strengthened over the summer with the arrivals of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong.

Athletic have made no real signings during the transfer window, limited as they are by their Basque-only policy, but they ended last season strongly and will hope to be pushing for European football once more this term.

Latest odds

They may have won the league at a canter last season, but Barcelona were made to work extremely hard in their two matches against Athletic.

Indeed the Blaugrana failed to win either contest, drawing 0-0 in Bilbao and needing a late goal to salvage a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou. Barca, though, can be backed at 8/11 (1.72) with bet365 to claim three points, with the hosts available at 4/1 (5.00) and another draw at 11/4 (3.75).

Watch and Bet on Athletic Club vs Barcelona

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Team news

The big news for Barca is that Lionel Messi is missing with the calf injury that kept him out of the side's north American tour earlier this month. The visitors' forward line, therefore, is likely to be made up of Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.

Athletic have no major injury concerns ahead of Friday night's game.

Preview

Only four sides scored fewer goals than Gaizka Garitano's men last season, although only five teams conceded fewer goals than them.

The Basque's matches averaged 2.26 goals with only four clubs averaging fewer, while both matches against Barca saw under 2.5 goals.

As well, nine of Barca's away games last season saw less than three goals scored, with the Catalans often grinding out results in difficult circumstances. The lack of Messi also the Catalans will be without their main creative force and goal threat. 

Tips and predictions

Each of the last four meetings between these two sides have seen under 2.5 goals and a repeat looks appealing at 11/10 (2.10).

Barca's record without Messi is actually relatively strong, so there could be some interest in backing an away win and under 2.5 goals at 7/2 (4.50).

Odds correct at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly. 

Under 2.5 goals at 11/10 (2.10) for a 1.5pt stake with bet365