Leo Messi during the match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club Bilbao, corresponding to week 31 of the Liga Santander, played on 23 June 2020 at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, ​​Spain Photo: Urbanandsport / NurPhoto

After winning three hard-fought points in their last game against Huesca, FC Barcelona must keep their momentum and not slip on a potential banana peel at Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Wednesday

After Gaizka Garitano’s sacking at the turn of the year, the previously struggling hosts could get a typical new manager lift from the divisive Marcelino, who seeks to reverse the fate of the Basques and improve their mediocre ninth position

Barca didn’t exactly knock Spain down fifth, but a win here would leave them in a much stronger qualifying position for the Champions League and with one still in hand against Athletic Club’s bitter rivals Real Sociedad Game move up to third place

Recent history is on the side of the men of Marcelino, where the Athletic Club has lost just one of the last four domestic league fixtures between the two teams, while unbeaten in the last two games at San Mames / p>

On the other hand, the Blaugrana have only been beaten once in their last 17 trips to the Basque region and have won two at a trot on the road in 2020/2021 without conceding a goal

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is mainly responsible for this latter development, but also his backline of Jordi Alba, Clement Lenglet, Ronald Araujo and Sergino Dest, which will go out here again

In midfield, Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets offer pivot support in Ronald Koeman’s 4-2-3-1 system Philippe Coutinho suffered a long-term injury and enabled Pedri to start again in the central attacking midfield

When Ousmane Dembele occupies the left wing and Lionel Messi the right wing, Antoine Griezmann returns as a lone striker via Martin Braithwaite

FC Barcelona First XI: Stegen, Ter; Alba, Lenglet, Araujo, Dest; De Jong, Busquets; Dembele, Pedri, Messi; Griezmann

Leo Messi and Mikel Vesga during the match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club Bilbao, [] according to the 31 Week of the Santander League, which ended on 23 June 2020 in the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, ​​Spain, Photo: Urbanandsport / NurPhoto

Although most of the attention was on his admitted list of weak players to outsource and transfer goals to bring in, Koeman had something to say about his squad’s overall performance at a pre-match press conference yesterday due to delay two coronavirus cases among the employees

“The team tries to play the same way whether we’re at home or on the road,” remarked Koeman. “We want to create danger and scoring opportunities, but outside of home we didn’t have the effectiveness that a team like Barcelona would should have ”

“We also made mistakes in defense We’re a team that creates a lot of opportunities, but our conversion percentage is very low, “added

In the 1-0 win against Huesca on Sunday, the Catalans had 20 chances in the 90 minutes and can be punished against the Atheltic Club for not being more ruthless in front of the goal

Now, after six years in São Paulo, Barcelona based, I have written extensively on these topics through preview and analysis while also covering match reports for

Now, after six years in São Paulo, Barcelona based, I have written extensively on these topics through preview and analysis and also covered match reports for tournaments like the Copa America. I not only write for Forbes Sports but also edit Yellow & Green Football: a website about Brazilian football that is part of the Guardian Sport Network and a partner of O Globo

Ath Bilbao – Barcelona

World news – FI – FC Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao preview: team news and line-up

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomsanderson/2021/01/06/fc-barcelona-versus-athletic-bilbao-preview-team-news-and-lineup/