17 August 2019
The 2019-20 La Liga action gets underway this week, as Athletic Bilbao host Barcelona to the Estadio San Mamés for the league opener.
The hosts have been subjected to extensive preparations this summer, registering just three wins in eight pre-season games though (W3, D4, L1). Those matches have not been short of entertainment, nonetheless, as seven have seen both teams score with six of them producing over 2.5 goals. Still, Los Leones face a daunting prospect of wrapping up three points against Barcelona side who they’ve struggled to beat in their last five league H2Hs here (D1, L4). However, the Basque-based team has put up a fight whenever they’ve been called into action at home since the turn of the year regardless of the rivals. They have not only clinched seven triumphs in ten LL home games in 2019, but they’ve not allowed their opponents to walk away with three points on a single occasion in the process (W7, D3).
On the other hand, the visitors travel here on a four-game winning run, with all of four of those triumphs seeing them bag 2+ match goals. It will be important to the defending champions to begin the new season successfully after overseeing a run of poor form in the final stage of last campaign (W1, D1, L4). Still, no team gobbled more away points last season in La Liga than the Catalans (39), as Ernesto Valverde’s side picked up 11 triumphs in 19 LL road matches during the 2018-19 campaign. However, the Blaugrana have struggled to come out on top in their previous three away games in all competitions (D1, L2), conceding over 1.5 match goals in all of those matches while failing to find the net twice in the process.
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