Bilbao hoping to Basque in glory against brilliant Barcelona
Barcelona know that they need to win to keep the pressure on Real Madrid at the top of La Liga after Los Blanco lost 4-0 to rivals Atletico, and are heavily odds-on at 4/11 with Coral to beat Athletic Bilbao, nd close the gap to just one point.
Historically, their hosts have a good record against the Catalan side in the Basque Country, having beaten them 1-0 last term, while between 2011 and 2013 they recorded consecutive 2-2 draws.
Iker Muniain proved the difference in that last battle in Bilbao, and the 22-year-old winger is 4/1 to net anytime this time around. Earlier this season, as tends to be the case between these two teams, Barcelona won at the Nou Camp, with Neymar bagging a brace in the last 15 minutes, as Luis Enrique’s side won 2-0.
Brazil talisman and captain Neymar is having a brilliant season for Barca, having netted 15 La Liga goals already, and accredits that to a better and burgeoning on-field understanding with Lionel Messi.
“I feel very happy,” he said recently at a sponsorship event in Qatar. “It is easy to play alongside [Leo] and he is one of my heroes. Our understanding on the pitch just keeps getting better and better.”
Back Neymar at 7/2 to equal or better his accomplishment from the reverse fixture, as he has five in his previous three games across all competitions.
Messi, meanwhile, usually scores against the Basque outfit, having done so last season in Barcelona. The Argentine is 5/2 to break the deadlock.
Last time out, Rafinha was on target for Enrique as his team beat Villarreal 3-2, and this alternative Brazilian talent is 10/3 to net anytime again.
In Barca’s defeat last season, Aritz Aduriz dispatched for Bilbao, and the 33-year-old is good value at 14/5 to score anytime, with three in his last two appearances across all competitions.
A repeat of the 1-0 scoreline in the fixture last term is being offered at 28/1, though with Barcelona starting to click, this seems unlikely.