Barcelona has a golden chance of jumping to third in the La Liga table this week as they travel to San Mames Barria to take on Athletic Bilbao. The match schedules for Wednesday evening with kickoff at 11 pm.
Athletic Bilbao head into the contest with a new manager, having replaced Gaizka Garitano with Marcelino. Barcelona comes off a 1-0 win against Huesca in their last outing.
Ronald Koeman has a lot on his plate currently at the fifth spot while being ten points adrift leaders Atletico Madrid has a game in hand. The Dutchman might be optimistic heading into the clash on the back of a six unbeaten run for the second half of the season.
The performances have been scraps at Camp Nou, but Koeman will have taken some satisfaction while keeping a clean sheet recording during their 1-0 win against bottom side Huesca. Despite having troubles in his attacking form, the side boast of the joint-best record in the division, scoring the same amount of times as Real Madrid, having played one game fewer.
Garitano has been under immense pressure since the start of the season with rumors of a move away from the club. The rumors were laid to rest even after their win last weekend against Elche, with Garitano shown the door. Former Valencia manager, Marcelino, has a major task in his hands.
Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona Head to Head
Both sides have 41 games against each other, with Athletic Bilbao taking five wins while Barcelona with 27 wins. Here is a look at their previous encounters:
Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Elche FC
Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Real Sociedad
Villarreal 1-1 Athletic Bilbao
Atheltic Bilbao 2-0 Huesca
Real Madrid 3-1 Athletic Bilbao
Huesca 0-1 Barcelona
Barcelona 1-1 Eibar
Real Vallavoid 0-3 Barcelona
Barcelona 2-2 Valencia
Barcelona 2-1 Real Sociedad
Athletic Bilbao Team News
Koeman is likely to make several changes to the starting XI that includes a recall for Antoine Griezzman. Miralem Pjanic will get the nod over Sergio Busquets, while Francisco Trincao is in contention for his first league start of the campaign.
Barcelona Team News
Marcelino has a couple of days to work for his new squad, while it remains unclear whether alterations will be made to the strategy. Alex Berenguer and Iker Muniain could start on the flanks with Inaki Williams operating through the middle.
Prediction and Odds
Even with recent criticism of the side, Barcelona still heads into the contest as the clear favorites for a win.
Both Teams to Score
Most Goals: 2H