Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao will kick off today’s slate of fixtures in Week 3 of the 2014-15 La Liga season, a day that will bring fans clashes between the top four teams of last year.
Real Madrid will host Atletico Madrid later in the day, but all eyes will turn to the Camp Nou to watch two of the hottest teams in all of football do battle first. The Catalans’ start to the season has been perfect, while Bilbao have won three straight since dropping their La Liga opener.
Fans don’t usually get to watch top teams go head to head this early in the season, and Saturday’s double header should give us one of the best days of football of the year 2014.
Today’s fixture should be a memorable one for a variety of reasons. To commemorate the September 11 anniversary of the Siege of Barcelona, the hosts will wear a special kit based on the colours of the Catalan flag, according to a statement made via the club’s official website:
The kit will likely resemble the team’s away kit from the 2013-14 season, which the Blaugrana never wore at the iconic Camp Nou for a home match.
The occasion could be given some added shine by Lionel Messi, who is just two goals shy of a career mark of 400, . It’s not hard to see why the club wants every fan in the world to watch such a potentially historic moment:
Today’s fixture might be billed as something of a celebration for the hosts, but they’ll have their work cut out for them when they take on Athletic. The Basques dropped their league opener to Malaga but have been red hot since, winning their last three in dominant fashion.
Barcelona haven’t conceded a single goal in their last five fixtures—Bilbao have scored nine in their last three. Something has to give.
Mikel San Jose made his Spain debut against France but didn’t feature for La Roja against Macedonia, so he should be rested to resume his role in the centre of the defense.
Messi and Neymar are both expected to feature for the Blaugrana, so Athletic will need their towering centre-back to take his international form and lead the visitors’ back line as they attempt to blemish Barcelona’s perfect start to the season
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|Game ID 3944||ODDS BARCELONA (1.26)||Draw (4.97)||ATHLETIC BILBAO (7.57)|