Barcelona take on Athletic Club in the final of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday as Ronald Koeman aims to win his first trophy as Blaugrana head coach.
Athletic, meanwhile, beat last year’s winners Real Madrid 2-1 and will be highly motivated to try and reclaim the titlethey won back in 2015 when they beat Barcelona 5-1 on aggregate.
These two sides met just over a week ago in La Liga, with Barcelona triumphing 3-2 in an entertaining encounter in Bilbao.
Athletic have generally made life difficult for the Blaugrana in recent seasons, with Barca winning just two of their last five meetings.
bet365 offer the Catalans at 8/13 (1.61) to claim another win, with the Basquesat 4/1 (5.00) and the draw at 3/1 (4.00).
Lionel Messi missed the semi-final win over Real Sociedad with a muscle problem and it remains to be seen whether the Argentine forward will be fit enough to feature on Sunday.
The Catalans also remain without Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho.
Athletic, for their part, are without Yuri Berchiche, Peru Nolaskoain and Unai Lopez.
Sunday’s final provides Barcelona with a chance of winning some silverware in a season where any kind of success has looked extremely unlikely.
The Catalans are, however, on an upward curve with their semi-final penalty shootout triumph coming after three successive La Liga wins, one of which was against Athletic.
That victory against the Basques was the first game in charge for Marcelino Garcia, and there has been a noticeable shift in Athletic’s strategy.
As manager of Valencia, Marcelino ensured his side were well set-up defensively and used counter-attacks highly effectively. Indeed, while there is work to be done at the back for Athletic, in the final third they have looked much more dangerous.
Scoring two goals in successive games against Barcelona and Real Madrid is an impressive statistic and the Basques should be able to contribute to another open and entertaining encounter.
Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals is priced at 20/21 (1.98) and comfortably paid out in the last meeting between these two sides barely 10 days ago.
Odds correct at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.
Source : goal.com