Barcelona look to make it two wins from two in this young La Liga season when they visit Athletic Bilbao on Saturday for Matchday 2. Ronald Koeman's men opened up the season with a 4-2 win over Real Sociedad but now face the other Basque Country side in an intriguing clash. On the other side, Marcelino's team started off their season on Monday with a 0-0 draw at Elche.
Here's are storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
Athletic Club: The performance against Elche was underwhelming overall, but they'll chalk it up to being rusty and it being early in the season. While they didn't win the battle of possession and put just three shots on goal, there were some encouraging moments overall. But some instability in the middle of the park saw Marcelino have to sub off three of his four midfielders in search of more creativity to set up Inaki Williams up top. Against Barca, they'll need to be much sharper with their passing to increase possession.
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Barcelona: The side actually looked pretty good going forward in their first real match without Lionel Messi, after their legend left for PSG on a free transfer. Pedri, who has seem to play every single possible match for club and country that he could play, continues to be an iron man in the middle (though manager Ronald Koeman has promised he will rest him around the coming international break). But the biggest difference early on has been Memphis Depay, who has added a level of technical quality and speed that was needed after Messi's departure. Now, he's no Messi, but he still can be a vital piece to this team as they aim to make a run at some trophies. If he can be the leader going forward, they may just be OK.
How to watch and odds
- Date: Saturday, August 21
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- Location: San Mames -- Bilbao, Spain
- TV: None
- Live stream: beIN Sports
- Odds: Athletic +333; Draw +260; Barca -118 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
A rough, physical match sees the hosts equalize late on a set piece as the teams share the points at the San Mames. Pick: Athletic Club 1, Barcelona 1