Barcelona vs Athletic Club team news: Messi left on bench

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Having dropped five points in their last two La Liga outings, the reigning champions will be looking to kick-start their season back at Camp Nou

Barcelona will be looking to offer a positive response to an uncharacteristic wobble when they welcome Athletic Club to Camp Nou on Saturday.

Ernesto Valverde's reigning champions have dropped five points in their last two outings, with a home draw against Girona followed by a shock midweek defeat at Leganes.

They remain top of the table, with arch-rivals Real Madrid having also come unstuck last time out, but have allowed the chasing pack to close in - with six teams now separated by just three points.

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Athletic will be hoping to provide another twist in the title chase when they head to Catalunya, having already held Real this season, but are without a victory since the opening weekend.

Game Barcelona vs Athletic Club
Date Saturday, September 29
Time 3:15pm BST / 10:15pm ET

TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch


In the United States (US) the game will be shown live on television on beIN Sports. It can also be streamed live online using the beIN Sports CONNECT service.

US TV channel Online stream
beIN Sports beIN Sports CONNECT

In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast live on television but it can be streamed via Eleven Sports.

UK TV channel Online stream
None Eleven Sports

Squads & Team News


Position Barcelona squad
Goalkeepers Ter Stegen, Cillessen
Defenders Alba, Semedo, Lenglet, Pique, Marlon, Vermaelen, Miranda
Midfielders Rafinha, Alena, Busquets, Coutinho, Rakitic, Arthur, Roberto, Vidal
Forwards L. Suarez, Messi, Dembele, Munir, Malcom

Samuel Umtiti is facing up to a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee problem, but fellow defender Clement Lenglet is back from suspension.

Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba were rested for the defeat at Leganes and can expect to be drafted back in as Valverde puts faith in his tried and tested, while Messi starts on the bench as Valverde has en eye on the Champions League fixture against Tottenham in midweek.

Barcelona XI: ​Ter Stegen, ​Semedo, Pique, Rakitic, Coutinho, Suarez, Dembele, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Roberto, Vidal. 

Subs: Busquests, Arthur, Messi, Rafinha, Cillessen, El Haddadi, Vermaelen.

Position Athletic Club squad
Goalkeepers Remiro, Simon, Oleaga
Defenders Ganea, Nunez, Martinez, Alvarez, San Jose, Berchiche, Balenziaga
Midfielders Etxebarria, Iturraspe, Muniain, Cordoba, Susaeta, Garcia, Rico, De Marcos, Capa, Garcia, Lopez, Nolaskoain, Benat
Forwards Williams, Aduriz, Guruzeta

Eduardo Berizzo has no fresh injury or suspension concerns to contend with.

Full-back Inigo Lekue and goalkeeper Iago Herrerin remain unavailable, although the latter has returned to training.

Athletic Club XI: Simon, Balenziaga, Martinez, Yeray, De Marcos, Extebarria, D. Garcia, R. Garcia, Berchiche, Williams, Susaeta.

Subs: San Jose, Oleaga, Muniain, Aduriz, Capa, Lopez, Oleaga, Nolaskoain.


Betting & Match Odds


Barcelona are heavy favourites to take all three points, with bet365 pricing them at 1/7 to emerge victorious. Athletic Club are considered to be 16/1 shots, with a draw available at 15/2.

Click here to see all of bet365's offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.


Match Preview


Lionel Messi Barcelona

Barcelona are unaccustomed to enduring blips in La Liga and will be eager to ensure that their current dip lasts no longer than two games.

Reverting back to their strongest XI should aid that cause, even when taking into account uncharacteristic mistakes from the likes of Gerard Pique over recent outings.

Lionel Messi has been passed by Andre Silva on the top scorer charts, so the prolific Argentine will be looking to get back among the goals against Athletic.

He has five efforts to his name so far, and eight across all competitions, with all of those having come at Camp Nou.

Messi netted home and away against Athletic last season, so will want to keep that run going.

The Bilbao-based outfit will be fully aware of the threat posed by a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, but also by a number of his team-mates.

Athletic are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and saw a run of three successive draws ended in midweek when they went down 3-0 at home to Villarreal.

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