Possibly the single worst that could have happened for Athletic Bilbao ahead of Sunday's meeting with Barcelona, happened on Tuesday. Barcelona lost and didn't play well at all, never a good combination if you're hosting the Blaugrana in their next match.
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Not that Barca would have somehow become instantly more beatable had they waltzed past Ajax in the Champions League, but they definitely received a bit of a wake up call thanks to the performance and result.
Martino's players knew they failed to perform up to standard and they were very critical of themselves after the match. More bad new for Athletic Club. Even without Lionel Messi and Victor Valdés, the task of upsetting Barcelona remains difficult, especially when they're fresh off an annoying and somewhat embarrassing performance.
Athletic Club are buoyed though by the fact that they've been playing extremely well at the new San Mamés winning five of their first seven matches at the stadium while drawing the other two. In addition, Barca's last two trips to the now torn down San Mamés ended in 2-2 draws. Ernesto Valverde's side currently sits fifth, a fabulous start to the season compared to last year's rather disappointing campaign.
Athletic Bilbao injuries and suspensions
Out: Kike Sola (foot), Aritz Aduriz (red card).
Barcelona injuries and suspensions
Barcelona's injury issues continue to define Martino's lineup as Messi, Valdés, Alves and Alba remain sidelined with various ailments. Athletic will be missing Aritz Aduriz as he's serving a red card suspension.
Athletic Club: Gorka Iraizoz, Andoni Iraola, Mike San José, Aymeric Laporte, Mike Balenziaga, Ander Iturraspe, Mikel Rico, Ander Herrera, Iker Muniain, Ibai Gómez, Guillermo Fernández
Barcelona: José Manuel Pinto,Mario Montoya, Marc Barta, Gerard Piqué, Adriano, Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernández, Cesc Fàbregas, Alexis Sanchez, Pedro Rodríguez, Neymar
Match Date/Time: 9 p.m. local, 3 p.m. ET
Venue: San Mamés, Bilbao, Spain
TV: beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Español (U.S.), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.), Canal+ 1 (Spain)
Online: beIN Sport Play (U.S.), Sky Go (U.K.), beIN Sport Play (Canada)