Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao Preview:
On 1st December Barcelona welcomes Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou in Barcelona. Unbeaten Blaugranas will try to extend their unbeaten La Liga record. Tito Vilanova’s team have achieved the best ever start and could go on with a win over their Basque visitors.
Barcelona are top of La Liga with a fantastic thirty seven points after thirteen matches. They have won twelve matches and drawn one with Real Madrid. They have great goal difference of +28. The Catalans have a perfect run with five straight wins. Barcelona are in their best form and have their first choice defensive line all available. But they still have a number of injuries with Bartra, Sanchez, Cuenca, Abidal and Muniesa.
Athletic are fourteenth in the table with fifteen points from thirteen games. They have won four, drawn three and lost six games. They have very poor goal difference with -9. Their present form has two wins, one draw and two defeats in their last five matches. Bilbao are still having big difficulties this season. The biggest news from Bilbao is that their star forward Fernando Llorente played his first game last week, after he wanted to change the club in the summer. It is still expected that he will move in January or as a free agent next summer.
Barcelona can’t count on their right back Dani Alves. He will miss Saturday’s cash against Athletic Bilbao cause of hamstring injury. Alexis Sanchez, Marc Bartra and Isaac Cuenca will remain sidelined. Adriano is under doubt through illness.
Athletic Bilbao will play without right-back Andoni Iraola and Carlos Gurpegui. Head coach Marcelo Bielsa will make many changes to the squad that beat Ironi Kiryat Shmona in the rearranged Europa League match this Wednesday. Their best forward Aritz Aduriz returns after a one-match ban.
Barcelona line-up: Hart, Zabaleta, Nastasic, Kompany, Kolarov, Nasri, Garcia, Y Toure, Silva, Dzeko, Aguero.
Last three matches:
Wigan Athletic 0 – Manchester City FC 2;
Chelsea FC 0 – Manchester City FC 0;
Manchester City FC 1 – Real Madrid CF 1.
Athletic Bilbao line-up: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Heitinga, Distin, Naismith, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic.
Last three mathces:
Everton 1 – Arsenal 1;
Everton 1 – Norwich City 1;
Reading 2 – Everton 1.