|Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao | Image: FCB|
Still in search of their first win in 2017, Barcelona host Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou in a bid to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg in their 2016/2017 Copa del Rey Round of 16 clash on Wednesday night.
Goals from Iñaki Williams and Aritz Aduriz gave Bilbao an impressive 2-1 win at the San Mamés last week, and Barça have hope to turn the tie around thanks to Lionel Messi who scored a valuable away goal in the first leg.
Barça have been champions in this tournament for the past two seasons and are gunning for their third consecutive crown, crashing out in the Round of 16 this season is unacceptable so they are in a win or burst affair.
Barcelona have failed to win both of their last two games, Messi saved the Catalán giants a point against Villarreal in La Liga on Sunday. Meanwhile, Athletic Bilbao come into the game after a hectic 1-1 draw against Alavés at the San Mamés.
There’s a bit of good news for Barcelona as they welcome back goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen from an injury that kept him out of action since December. He trained normally and has been given the medical greenlight meaning all Barça first team players are fit for the tie.
The same cannot be said for the visitors who will be without Yeray Álvarez, Óscar de Marcos and Ager Aketxe. It is not yet certain if Iñaki Williams will start, although he made the final squad despite picking up a knock vs Alavés. Iturraspe and Raul Garcia will also sit out the tie after picking up red cards in the first leg.
BARÇA VS ATHLETIC BILBAO – COPA
Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Time: 9:15pm CET
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano
Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Barcelona
Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Barcelona
Barcelona 3-1 Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Barcelona
Barcelona 6-0 Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao: DLWWWD
Predicted Barcelona Lineup: Jasper Cillessen; Aleix Vidal, Gerard Piqué, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba; Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta; Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Neymar
Predicted Athletic Bilbao Lineup: Gorka Iraizoz; Eneko Bóveda, Xabier Etxeita, Aymeric Laporte, Balenziaga; Mikel San Jose, Elustondo; Muniain, Beñat Etxebarria, Saborit; Aduriz
BarcaLens Prediction: Remontada! Messi Masterclass! Barcelona 4-0 Athletic Bilbao