Spanish Copa del Rey Quarter-Finals - Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona taking place? Thursday, February 6th (20:00 UK / 21:00 CET)

Where is Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona taking place? San Mames, Bilbao

What television channel is Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona on? Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona will not be televised live in the UK

Where can I stream Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona? Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona will be streamed live in the UK on Betfair

Where can I get tickets for Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona? Ticket information for this game can be found here!

THE TEAM NEWS

ATHLETIC BILBAO

  • Athletic come into this clash with Barcelona having edged through the last two rounds on penalty shootouts against Elche and Tenerife, and they will know they have to lift their performance levels significantly against the Catalans here.
  • After his 2nd-minute red card in the last round, Iago Herrerin is suspended for this game but that means boss Gaizka Garitano will go with regular starter Unai Simon which will boost the quality of the team which should be relatively close to full strength.
  • Left-back Yuri is a slight doubt but he will be desperate to play and do well with national team boss Luis Enrique expected to be in the stands watching him and other than right-back De Marcos who is ruled out, Garitano will have a full squad at his disposal for this game.

BARCELONA

  • Barcelona are in a degree of a disarray right now as they sit second behind Real Madrid in the league and all the build up to this game has centred on the bust-up between Sporting Director Eric Abidal and star man Lionel Messi.
  • Boss Quique Setien will be hoping his team can ignore any such distractions ahead of this game and overcome the absence of Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele with the duo expected to be out for the remainder of the season which only increases the pressure on Messi to carry the team in attack.
  • Setien will be heartened by the two goals from prodigy Ansu Fati in the win over Levante at the weekend, and barring a couple of potential rotations in midfield, he is expected to field something close to his strongest available starting eleven.

THE PREDICTION

Neither of these teams’ recent performances have been overly convincing but they are both expected to take this match seriously as the Copa del Rey reaches the business end of the competition. Both head coaches are expected to field something close to their strongest available teams and it is unlikely any key players will be rested now. Barcelona continue to look light on firepower without Luis Suarez however and this will be a tough assignment even for Lionel Messi in breaking down Athletic on home turf. The atmosphere at San Mames will be excellent and they will be confident of springing an upset here, which they are capable of producing. It may not be in 90 minutes, but the hosts can edge past Barca in this one.

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