The two sides may not be fulfilling their potential in La Liga, but their amazing performances in Europe’s top competitions can guarantee us an enthralling encounter at Camp Nou.
Barcelona and Athletic are set to meet in the Copa del Rey final in May, so this will be a perfect opportunity for one of the teams to get a psychological advantage over their rivals.
The Catalans have been struggling to keep up with Real Madrid in La Liga and defeat to Osasuna appeared to have ended team’s title hopes.
Nevertheless, Pep Guardiola’s side continued playing as if nothing had happened and they subsequently managed to narrow the lead behind los Blancos to just six points.
With Barcelona on top of their game at the moment and yet to host Real at Camp Nou, odds of 3.50 (5/2) offered by Bodog on Barcelona to win La Liga title could be worth a shot.
The Catalans may have ended their nine-match winning run with a goalless draw against AC Milan, but they remain hot favourites to win this tie and you should know home win pays 1.12 (2/17) at BetVictor.
Guardiola is set to make some changes to the starting line-up, with Fabregas, Thiago and Pedro all expected to start.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Valdes – Alves, Puyol, Mascherano, Muniesa – Thiago, Xavi, Iniesta – Pedro, Messi, Fabregas.
Athletic Bilbao have really excelled under Marcelo Bielsa this season, but los Blancos are likely to pay the price for fielding strong line-ups in all three major competitions.
Los Blancos have been absolutely brilliant in Copa del Rey and Europa League, with the 4-2 away win over Schalke proving the Basque side are indeed the number one favourites for the Europa League trophy.
However, good results in Europe have taken their toll on the La Liga campaign, where Athletic are struggling to keep up with their top 4 rivals.
After taking just one point from last four games, los Leones sit no less than nine points behind fourth-placed Malaga and with the Barcelona clash set to be played less than 48 hours after the match in Gemany, Marcelo Bielsa’s side look destined for defeat at Camp Nou.
The Chilean boss is expected to rest several star players, with Fernando Llorente, Ander Herrera and Javi Martinez likely to miss out.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Iraizoz – Iraola, San Jose, Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe – Ibai Gomez, Iturraspe, De Marcos – Inigo Perez, Toquero, Muniain.