Bilbao are scheduled to host back-to-back La Liga champions FC Barcelona at the San Mamés Stadium this coming weekend
Athletic Club failed to continue the momentum from last season with a loss to Sporting, meanwhile Barcelona continued their winning ways by beating newly-promoted side Real Betis, 6-2, at the Nou Camp last Saturday. Luis Suárez netted a hat trick after Arda Turan opened the scoring.
Neymar and his Barcelona compatriot were expected to return to Spain immediately following the Olympics victory for Brazil, although only the latter will play this weekend after it has emerged Luis Enrique has permitted Neymar to stay in Brazil a while longer.
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has been given a double injury boost ahead of the weekend trip to Athletic Bilbao, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Javier Mascherano returning to training on Wednesday (24 August). However, Andres Iniesta and Jeremy Mathieu remained side-lined while Rafinha Alcantara also missed the workout due to a cold.
Barca are in the market for another forward to provide cover for Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar. Alcacer, is a player I rate highly, and at 22, still has plenty of potential. The youngster scored 15 goals and provided eight assists last season despite Los Che struggling for much of the campaign. My only reservation is that I wouldn’t want to see a player like Alcacer sit on the bench, when he would walk into the starting line-up of all but about 5 teams across Europe .
On the other hand, Bilbao manager Valverde still have Ager Aketxe until early December. It should be noted that earlier in the summer, Athletic Bilbao have announced defender Aymeric Laporte has extended his contract with the club through to the summer of 2020.The 22-year-old Frenchman had been strongly linked with Manchester City during the summer but a statement from Athletic on Monday evening said Laporte had committed his future to the Primera Division club for the next four years.
I’ll be watching the game, which is live on Sky sports on Sunday evening-
Prediction- 3-1 Barcelona.
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