La Liga Preview: Barcelona - Athletic Bilbao

Karthick Arvinth
La Liga Preview: Barcelona - Athletic Bilbao




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


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 is 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.



  • Barcelona has won 10 of its 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, topping 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.

  • With a hat trick, Lionel Messi would equal Gerd Muller's total of 85 goals in a calendar year.

  • Athletic Bilbao has won just four of its last 16 matches in all competitions (4-7-5).

  • 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.