Before the first meeting of the season between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona, the Basque Country side had failed to defeat Barca in the last 20 matches. Now Atheltic will travel to the Camp Nou looking for the second straight win over the Blugrana.
Their chances of pulling off the league double are very good thanks to a combination of their strong form, combined with Barca's poor form and long list of injuries. More importantly for Athletic, a result against Barca moves them ever closer to securing fourth place and a spot in the next season's Champions League.
Gerard Martino has some major lineup shuffling to do with six players either out injured or suspended. The defense continues to cause issues with Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol, and Jordi Alba all out injured. Marc Bartra should be ready to go, but if not, Adriano will play centrally again with Martin Montoya the only option left to cover for Alba. Alex Song will be called upon to replace the suspended Sergio Busquets in the midfield.
Barcelona injuries and suspensions
Out: Victor Valdés (knee), Gerard Piqué (hip, Neymar (foot), Jordi Alba (hamstring), Carles Puyol (knee), Sergio Busquets (suspended). In Doubt: Marc Bartra (hamstring).
Athletic Bilbao injuries and suspensions
In Doubt: Mikel Rico (ankle), Ibai Gomez (hamstring).
Barcelona's injury problems continue to mount as Neymar and Jordi Alba both will miss Sunday's match. Pedro or Alexis Sánchez will replace Neymar, while Adriano will take over for Alba. Defender Marc Bartra is expected to be available despite aggravating his hamstring injury chasing Gareth Bale in the Copa del Rey.
Athletic Bilbao: Gorka Iraizoz, Mikel Balenziaga, Aymeric Laporte, Mike San José, Andoni Iraola, Ander Iturraspe, Erik Morán, Iker Muniain, Ander Herrera, Markel Susaeta, Aritz Aduriz.
Match Date/Time: 9 p.m. local, 3 p.m. ET
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
TV: beIN Sports USA (U.S. - English), beIN Sports en Español (U.S. - Spanish), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.), beIN Sports Canada (Canada)
Online: beIN Sports Play (U.S.), Sky Go (U.K), beIN Sports Play (Canada)