Barcelona continue their quest in search of the Sextuplet as they take on Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Friday
After a hard fought Uefa Super Cup win over Sevilla on Tuesday, Barcelona will seek to secure their fifth title of the year three days later when they take on Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup in San Mames.
The Spanish Super Cup is staged between the winners of La Liga and the Copa del Rey but it isn’t the case this year as Barça won both trophies meaning they’ll face the runner up in the Copa – Bilbao – who were beaten 3-1 in the final by the Catalans last season.
The Blaugranas are in a phase of a hectic period of fixtures that will see them play 4 games in 13 days with the second leg of the Super Cup coming up on Monday, August 17 before they kick-off their Liga campaign with a trip back to San Mames.
Bilbao’s San Mames had always been a nemesis for Barça during the past years but the jinx was broken last season when they were thrashed 5-2 by the Catalans in La Liga last season.
The fixture promises a thrilling encounter but Barcelona are clear favourites to win it for a record 12th time in their history, no other team has won it more than nine times.
The last and only time Athletic Bilbao won the Spanish Super Cup was in 1984 when they also won La Liga for the last time. They have beaten Barça just twice in 28 previous meetings and just once since 2006.
Both teams have a couple of injury concerns with Mikel Rico a doubt for the home side and star man Iker Muniain out with a long term injury.
Andres Iniesta was forced off in the win over Sevilla but will feature as confirmed by Luis Enrique but the Catalans will still be without Neymar and Jordi Alba who are both out for two weeks.
Bilbao vs Barcelona – Spanish Super Cup Match Preview
Date: Friday 14th August, 2015
Time: 10:00pm CET (9:00pm BST)
Venue: Estadio San Mames, Bilbao
Possible Barcelona Line-up: Claudio Bravo; Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jeremy Mathieu; Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta; Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Pedro Rodriguez.
FlyBarca Prediction: Like earlier said, Barcelona are favourites to win this trophy but winning at the San Mames would be a tougher task and with Barça struggling in defence, Bilbao pose a huge threat.
Athletic Bilbao 2-2 Barcelona.