It’s Basque Country versus Catalonia, as Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona lock horns at the Estadio de La Cartuja de Sevilla in Saturday’s 2021 Copa del Rey final. Taking place only two weeks after the 2020 final due to the pandemic, there’s already been fireworks between these clubs this season and we could be in for more this weekend.
Where and when: Estadio de La Cartuja – 17 April, kick-off 20:30
Where you can see Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona: Premier Sports, Bet365 live streaming
Last time: Goals from Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann either side of a Jordi Alba own goal handed Barcelona a 2-1 victory when these teams met at the Nou Camp at the end of January.
Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona Predictions and Preview
That clash between Barcelona and Athletic Club on the last day of January came just two weeks after a fiery Supercopa de Espana encounter which Bilbao won 3-2 in extra-time. Barca beat Los Leones by the same scoreline a couple of weeks before that, with Saturday’s Copa del Rey final promising to be another lively affair.
Messi saw red in the dying moments of the Spanish Super Cup game, in what seemed to be the nadir of the Argentine legend’s Barcelona career. However, Messi has been in fine form since that game though, firing Barca back into title contention.
Last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in El Clasico was a setback for the Blaugrana, but Ronald Koeman’s side are still very much in the hunt for a domestic double this season. That would be some achievement given how their campaign began, and could be enough to convince their talisman to stay.
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Barcelona to win and BTTS
Barcelona to win 3-2
Over 4.5 goals
Messi has been buoyed by the emergence of young talents such as Pedri, Sergino Dest, Oscar Mingueza and Ronald Araujo, as well as Ousmane Dembele’s return to form. Barcelona are playing with defensive stability and attacking verve once more, and they are the 1/2 favourites for the win on Saturday with William Hill.
Their opponents are the underdogs in these Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona predictions, priced at 11/2 in the latest odds for this final. Los Leones are down in 11th in the La Liga table, some 28 points behind Barca, who are two behind leaders Atletico Madrid.
Bilbao’s Super Cup victory over the Catalans was their third in the last six meetings between these clubs, with Barcelona winning the other three. The last three encounters have produced 13 goals, at an average of 4.3 per game, with both teams scoring on each occasion.
A BTTS bet this weekend therefore looks promising at 33/50, while over 3.5 goals is 5/4 and over 4.5 goals is 3/1. The recent Super Cup game was 2-2 after 90 minutes, with the same scoreline at the end of normal time here priced at 14/1.
That would certainly leave Bilbao in with a great chance of lifting the trophy, which they are 3/1 to do by any method. However, given Marcelino’s side are without a win in their last six matches, and their opponents won seven of nine prior to their Clasico defeat, it’s tough to look past Barcelona as the eventual winners at 1/4.
One to watch for Athletic Bilbao: Raul Garcia is Bilbao’s top scorer so far this season with nine goals in all competitions. Four of those have come from the penalty spot, making the Spanish veteran a more appealing option in the anytime scorer market.
One to watch for Barcelona: Lionel Messi is on 29 goals for the season and the Argentine looks so much happier than when these teams met three times in January – even if he did score three times across those games. Barca’s No.10 will start the Copa del Rey final as the favourite to score first.
Long shot: Two of the three meetings between these sides in January ended with 3-2 scorelines, making the same result potentially of interest in our Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona tips this weekend. Barca are 19/1 to win 3-2, while Bilbao are out at 45/1 for the same bet.