Barcelona welcomes Athletic Bilbao to Camp Nou on Sunday as they look to strengthen their top-four hopes in La Liga. The Catalan club has played one less game than Atletico Madrid, and three more points will help them settle the pressure for the upcoming games.
FC Barcelona are on top form in the recent games. Their attacking stats and numbers are impressive. Xavi’s side hit four goals for the second game in a row when they defeated Napoli 4-2 in the second leg to seal their place in the last 16 of the Europa League in midweek.
The Catalan giants are currently fourth in the table, 15 points behind division leaders Real Madrid, while Athletic occupy eighth, two points behind sixth-placed Villarreal heading into the next set of fixtures.
Barcelona returns to Cam Nou after two emphatic wins over Valencia in the league match and Napoli in the Europa League.
Barcelona played out a 1-1 draw with Athletic in the reverse match at San Mames earlier this season but recorded a 2-1 victory when the pair locked horns at Camp Nou last term.
Athletic Bilbao comes to this game after a dominant victory over Real Sociedad in the derby where Dani Vivian, Oihan Sancet, Inaki Williams and Iker Muniain scored the goals. They have the last three games in La Liga, and they will surely give a big test to Barca at Camp Nou.
Bilbao’s away record will be their confidence booster. They have only lost two away games, and when they meet Barca, who are comfortable while playing at Camp Nou, it will be an end to end match.
FC Barcelona: For Barca, Ansu Fati, Samuel Umtiti, Sergi Roberto and Balde will be out due to injuries. Dani Alves will return after the two-game suspension. But Jordi Alba will be out due to suspension.
Barca will have a significant boost as Memphis Depay and Clement Lenglet will be fit to be included in the squad against Athletic Bilbao.
Athletic Bilbao: Nico Williams will again miss the contest due to a hamstring problem, while Alex Berenguer is unavailable for selection due to a suspension.
The Basque outfit could also be without the services of Yeray Alvarez, but Mikel Vesga should recover from a head injury to feature in central midfield alongside Dani Garcia.
Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Alves, Araujo, Pique, Dest; F de Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Torres, Aubameyang, Gavi
Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; De Marcos, Martinez, Alvarez, Berchiche; Zarraga, Vesga, D Garcia, Muniain; I Williams, Sancet
Kick-off: Sunday 27 February, 20:00 (GMT)
Venue: Camp Nou
Referee: Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez
VAR: Jose Luiz Gonzalez Gonzalez