Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona - Sunday 19:15, Sky Sports 1
Bilbao kicked off their 2016/17 La Liga campaign with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sporting Gijon. It was a match in which they created few chances and struggled to get into the rhythm which helped to achieve a fifth placed finish last season.
Barca, on the other hand, begun their title defence in ominous fashion with a 6-2 thumping of Real Betis at the Nou Camp. In Neymar’s absence, Suarez and Messi scored a hat-trick and a brace respectively, demonstrating the sort of form which helped them net 66 league goals between them last term.
In the last two seasons, Athletic have struggled against top-six sides and have only managed to win on five occasions in 22 attempts, albeit with four of those coming at home. Moreover, they’ve lost seven of their eight games against the Big Two while conceding at least four goals on four occasions. With key defensive midfielder Mikel San Jose missing for Athletic, Barcelona will look to exploit this from the outset and in recent times they’ve gotten out of the blocks fast, scoring within the first 15 minutes in four of their last six matches.
So while we wouldn’t put you off backing Barcelona/Barcelona Half-Time/Full-Time at 2.3, we are looking at Suarez to open the scoring for our best bet. Barca’s magical Uruguayan has scored 59 goals in 63 league matches since his move from Liverpool and continues to prove he is worth every penny of his transfer fee. He has scored five goals in three games against Bilbao and he’s well worth backing to continue his great record against the men from the Basque Country.