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Barcelona Faces Athletic Bilbao for the Third Time in One WeekPublished August 23, 2015 by Florin P
Reigning champions try to avenge humiliating defeat against Athletic Bilbao, as they travel to San Mames Barria to take on the Basques (9:00 p.m UK Time).
Barcelona won the European Super Cup at the end of a breathtaking game, but they failed miserably in the attempt to win another trophy. It was Athletic Bilbao that blocked their way and after an emphatic victory at home, the Basques managed to stop the reigning champions in their tracks at Nou Camp. The two teams meet once again this week and Barcelona will be aiming for a crushing victory on the road.
Offensive Trident Incomplete Without Neymar
Neymar’s absence didn’t go unnoticed in the double legged Spanish Super Cup, as Barcelona only managed to score once. Messi and Suarez are formidable strikers, but they appeared to be toothless against an intelligent Basque midfield and a solid backline.
With the Brazilian still mending his injuries, Barcelona will have to rely on the same starting formation and hope for better results. What they need is a change of attitude, as the entire team seemed complacent in the first half of both fixtures. They can no longer expect Athletic Bilbao to simply crumble under pressure and need to double their efforts offensively.
All Eyes on Aduriz
Arguably the best player of the Spanish Super Cup was Aduriz, a 34 years old veteran who scored four goals against Barcelona in less than one week. He will spearhead the offensive once again, especially now that Kike Sola saw a red card a few minutes after jumping into the fray.
Athletic Bilbao extracted an astonishing amount from an aging team but their luck is expected to run out over the weekend. Barcelona will be motivated to start a new Primera Division season with a victory, while avenging the recent results. Despite their failure to defeat Athletic Bilbao this August, bookies are confident in their ability to prevail on the road and bet365 sports offers odds of 4/9 on their victory.