Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is the Match Preview of Athletic Bilbao vs FC Barcelona. Barcelona is up and ready for its second successive away encounter as they prepare to play against Athletic Bilbao. San Mames is one of the toughest venues to play football in Spain. Can Ronald Koemann and his men stay tough and deliver against the solid Athletic Bilbao?
ATHLETIC BILBAO VS FC BARCELONA MATCH PREVIEW
Barca previously played away against Huesca and somehow won 0-1. However, the lady luck is not always to play its part for the Blaugranas. Ronald Koemann must come into this game with a very decent game plan and must not take any chances. Barcelona is lined up with injury issues and they are going to play a major part in lowering the visiting side.
However, one thing certain is that this is a must-win for FC Barcelona. Barca is at 5th on the points table with 28 points and a victory in this game can clearly take the Catalans to the 3rd spot. On the other side, Athletic Bilbao is in 9th place with 21 points. Therefore, Barcelona surely has the momentum. The biggest question is that can they capitalize it against the home side?
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FC BARCELONA?
Ronald Koemann is going to stick to his usual 4-3-3 for this or he might go with a 3-4-3. However, he is probably going to operate with a back four because Athletic Bilbao can be very lethal on the attack. Their forwards, namely Garcia and Williams are very cunning and know-how to fool defenders. Furthermore, the wing play of Athletic Club is of also very high quality. Therefore, Barcelona must operate with very strong full-back options in order to eliminate the chances of lethal crosses coming into the box. Jordi Alba and Sergino Dest are very likely to operate as full-backs.
De Jong and Busquests are likely to be there in the midfield. Coutinho is injured. Therefore, we can expect Puig to feature in this game as well. However, it is very difficult that him gets a starting spot. Pedri is also very likely to represent the Blaugranas in this game. Still, we expect Dembele, Griezmann, and Messi to start as the front three for FC Barcelona.
Miralem Pjanic, Trincao, and Braithwaite are going to be on the bench. All three of these players are doing pretty well so far and therefore, Koemann might use them in the second half of the game.
There is nothing different or extraordinary to expect from FC Barcelona in this game. Koemann is going to try to stick to his playing tactics and dominate most of the game despite playing on away soil. Barcelona must be very concerned about converting the majority of the chances they create. If they can do so, they are going to end with 3 points.
VISCA EL BARCA!