Rising Barca want to curb Athletic
Athletic de Bilbao were the last team to defeat Xavi Hernández’s FC Barcelona. In the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey, the Barcelona group could not overcome the bilbaínos and remained without options to defend the copero title. Of that, makes more than one month, time in which the Barça evolved and grew considerably to look for the revenge against the bilbaínos.
The culé photo receives Athletic this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. at the Camp Nou, in a key evening to keep in the first four squares of LaLiga Santander. The Barça knows that this week will not be able to shorten the distances with Real Madrid, but yes wants to continue on its way to regularize and to add, for the first time for almost a year, three consecutive victories. For this, it is necessary to face and overcome a bilbaíno image that comes from golear in the Basque derbi.
Irregularity has been one of Bilbao’s keys this season, but continue to be one of the most important and formidable teams in the national championship who, moreover, intends to colarse in the European places and knows that, to win at the Camp Nou, would have the way much easier. Having the party experience in Glass of Rey and being aware that players like Iñaki Williams or Sancet, among many others, can do a lot of damage to the culé team.
Nevertheless, although Athletic is a team that has the habit of atragantársele to the rest of the “big” in Spain, andl Barcelona have given a big leap in quality this February and will be looking to close it with an authoritative blow to the table. The “lions” will have to be tamed at the Camp Nou, because the intention of Xavi and company does not let slip the three points of the feudo barcelonista.
It will be a war, too, of benches. Xavi will have to overcome the palateamiento of Marcelino who knows how to hurt Barça and who forces his pressure very high. The culés are forced to follow their positive line of the last parties and seek victory from the first minute. They come after the subidón which represented the victory in Naples and with the certainty that the team is much more recognizable and reliable.
The Barcelona golearon at Napoli (2-4) and left a real exhibition in Saint Paolo which invites to illusion, although Xavi stressed the need to keep your feet on the ground and be humble despite the team’s mejorías: “Each game is a final. No descartamos at all, but knowing that there is a lot of difficulty in to be able to win the League, say it in numbers. I am delighted that the president has been with victory and euphoria, is a natural leader and seems to me well”, he assured.
Few doubts for Barça
Xavi Hernández received the good news that he released, even more, the infirmary. Memphis Depay and Clément Lenglet received the top doctor after overcoming their respective injuries and cheered on the announcement. Both have been training with the rest of his mates since Monday and are smart to see minutes if needed, although Xavi would have set up his lineup pretty well.
It’s worth remembering that all the usual players will be available except for Jordi Alba who saw the yellow fifth in last Sunday’s crash against Valencia and will be dropped. However, they will be back Gerard Martelé and Dani Alves, those who lost the party against the ‘ché’ by sanction.
Like that then, he expects the egarense technician to make very few changes to his roster. Dani Alves aims to part ways with the right group and Sergiño Dest will replace Jordi Alba on the left side, a position he doesn’t feel very comfortable in, but has shown he surrenders to when needed.
Athletic, with significant drops
On the other side of the coin is an Athletic who visits Camp Nou with sensitive drops: Berenguer will not be accessible by stacking cards, while Nico Williams is dudapor in physical trouble, although he has been training in the last few days and has been able to see minutes. Nico Serrano would have the same situation.
Regarding the accident, Marcelino commented in the previous one that “Barça is the team that has touched me the most times against me. By the law of probability, the less that accomplishes one thing, the closer is to accomplishing the opposite. In League in punctual moments the victory escaped us but even that of cruel form would say. The present is that Barca are in a very good moment.”