If Lionel Messi wasn’t happy with his team’s performance in a 2-0 win over Leganes, then he’s going to be enraged over their 0-0 draw against Sevilla in their latest match. Sevilla are a much better club than Leganes, but it was a winnable game that would have been a huge victory. Instead, Barcelona picked up the draw, while Real Madrid have won all three of their matches after returning to play.
Barcelona and Sevilla traded grand chances late in the match to win. Luis Suarez had a clear opportunity for Barcelona and he sailed the ball over the target. Real Madrid and Barcelona are tied at the top of the table with 65 points. With Real Madrid beating their rival earlier in the season, they are regarded as the top club in La Liga.
Barcelona no longer control their own destiny. Trading wins and losses down the stretch would result in Real Madrid coming out on top. There were reports that Messi and Antoine Griezmann got into a spat during training this week. Things got so heated that they had to be broken up. Messi is obviously a competitive player and he demands perfection out of his club. Like I said, this is a guy who was not content with their 2-0 win over Leganes.
A draw versus Sevilla couldn’t have made him feel any better. It’s worth noting that Messi didn’t pass the ball to Griezmann at all in the match. Griezmann is likely on the way out in Barcelona, with Messi is approaching a new deal. I can’t see how either player was pleased with how the match transpired against Sevilla. Barca are back out on the pitch Tuesday with an important meeting with Athletic Bilbao at home.
Athletic Bilbao are coming off a 1-0 win over Real Betis on Saturday. They’ve also drawn against Atletico Madrid and Eibar. Athletic Bilbao are a serviceable opponent for Barcelona today. However, a draw or loss for Barca might send this club into freefall. Athletic Bilbao are 10th in La Liga with a record of 10-12-8. The draw against Atletico Madrid has been their most impressive performance since returning. Head below for our free Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao pick for June 23, 2020 in La Liga.
Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao La Liga Betting Odds:
Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao Prediction:
For Barcelona to win this match, they just have to be on the same page and play their game. If Messi and Griezmann are still arguing in the locker room prior to the match, then who knows, there may be an opportunity for an upset. At the end of the day, though, we should likely expect to see Messi motivated to respond and take Athletic Bilbao seriously.
Athletic Bilbao are playing for a spot in the European, so it is a meaningful spot for them. They are 6 points behind Getafe and a win over Barca would be a serious confidence booster for their quest. Athletic Bilbao have played Barca tough in the past, but they’re on the road where life hasn’t been easy for them.
Athletic Bilbao have struggled with just two wins in their last 15 matches on the road. They must play mistake free football to emerge with a draw here. That might not even be enough, though. It’d probably take a lazy game from Barca as well. Athletic Bilbao generally play for ties on the road. They’ve scored 1.07 goals per match, while conceding 1.20 goals a match. A 1-1 draw has been their most probable outcome.
Against a hungry Barca squad, I’m not so sure that’s going to happen on Tuesday, though. Barca has been a difficult force to stop when they’re at home. Other than Real Madrid, it’s going to be hard for any other club to compete with them at Camp Nou. They’ve racked up an impressive 3.13 goals per match and conceded 0.80 goals per match in 2019-20. On the season, Barca are +38 in goal differential for the best in the league, while Bilbao are +7 in goals.
At best for Athletic Bilbao, they could register a 1-1 draw here. However, you have to think Messi and company come out of the locker room with a point to prove. Just like Juvenetus regrouped yesterday in the Serie A against an inferior foe, look for Barcelona to get a bounce back win on Tuesday at Camp Nou. The price is high on Barcelona, and I’m not going crazy on a favourite juiced up this much. In any case, they look good for a bet to add a bit of profit to the bankroll.