Athletic Club is going head to head with Barcelona starting on 20 Jan 2022 at 20:30 UTC at San Mames stadium, Bilbao city, Spain. The match is a part of the Copa del Rey.
Barcelona will be looking to make it back-to-back wins at the start of their 2021-22 La Liga campaign when they travel to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night.
Ronald Koeman’s side opened their season with a 4-2 win over Real Sociedad last weekend, while Athletic played out a goalless draw with Elche in their first fixture.
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It is essentially the same group of players that ended last season, but they have previous in terms of impressive finishes at this level, claiming fourth, seventh, fifth and seventh between 2014 and 2017.
Marcelino’s side travelled to Elche in their first match of the new season on Monday evening, and a relatively uneventful fixture finished goalless.
The Basque outfit, who have a number of injury issues, will now take on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in two of their next four fixtures, and the club’s supporters will be wary of starting the season poorly.
The Lions have lost their last three league matches with Barcelona, including a 3-2 defeat in the corresponding match last season, but they did beat the Catalan giants 1-0 on home soil in August 2019 and certainly have the players capable of making this a difficult assignment for the visitors.
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There were a lot of question marks ahead of Barcelona’s first league match of the season against Real Sociedad, but Koeman’s side managed to pick up an incredibly important three points.
Gerard Pique, Martin Braithwaite and Sergi Roberto were on the scoresheet in the 4-2 success at Camp Nou, and the club’s supporters will be demanding two more wins against Athletic Bilbao and Getafe ahead of a difficult clash away to Sevilla on September 11.
Barcelona’s form in the second half of last season was largely impressive, and a strong start to 2021-22 would certainly leave the fans dreaming of the title despite the issues that the club have faced this summer.
NAME: Athletic Club – Barcelona
DATE: 20 Jan 2022
TIME: 20:30 UTC
VENUE: San Mames, Bilbao, Spain
Barcelona won last season’s Copa del Rey, but they disappointed in the Champions League and finished third in La Liga, meaning that there is a lot of pressure on head coach Koeman to deliver during the 2021-22 season.
The dust has settled on Lionel Messi’s exit, and the Catalan giants are going in search of their 27th Spanish league title this season; seven points separated them from champions Atletico last term, and it will be fascinating to see whether the current squad has enough to launch a serious title challenge.