- On Saturday, January 17th, at 3:00 PM EST, Barcelona take on Athletic Bilbao at the Estadio de La Cartuja in the Spanish Super Cup Final
- Barcelona defeated Real Sociedad on penalties to reach the final, while Bilbao pulled off a major upset against Real Madrid due to a brace from Raul Garcia
- The favorites in the match are Barcelona with a moneyline of -148. Read our preview of the final below
The Spanish Super Cup is an annual competition in Spain that consists of the winner and runner-up from La Liga and the winner and runner-up from the Copa del Rey. This year, we had two extremely close semifinals between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona and Real Sociedad. An El Clásico final was the game everyone was wishing for, but Raul Garcia and company had different plans. Now we see the 12th-place team in La Liga challenging the third-best for this year’s first piece of silverware.
The past four meetings between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao have been split right down the middle with both sides winning two. In terms of recent form, Barcelona has the edge as they currently have won four in a row under first-year gaffer Ronald Koeman. In fact, these sides just played a little over a week ago, in a scintillating match that Barcelona won 3-2 thanks to a Leo Messi brace.
Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao Odds
|Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao||BAR -1 (+120) | ATH +1 (-148)||BAR -148 | ATH +390 | DRAW +290||Ov 2.5 (-155) | Un 2.5 (+125)|
All odds taken Jan. 15th at DraftKings
Winning Silverware is Massive for Koeman
Despite this tournament only consisting of four teams, silverware is silverware for Barcelona. The Catalan club is desperate for trophies and reasons for Lionel Messi to stay at the club this summer, not to mention in recruitment for other players. Looking past their issues, Barcelona have probably surpassed their honest expectations for this season. Barcelona are not a trainwreck, and in fact, have the best offense in Spain according to their goal tally.
Lionel Messi the manager ? pic.twitter.com/zWofro9Z8J
— 433 (@433) January 14, 2021
Of course, all of this revolves around Messi. The Argentinian has already scored 11 goals this season but is only hopeful to start in Sunday’s match for Barcelona. Messi sat out in their semifinal win against Sociedad but was an influence on the sideline, serving as nearly a player-manager. Nonetheless, Barcelona will also be without Ansu Fati, Phil Coutinho, Sergi Roberto and Gerard Pique all missing out to injury. If any team has the depth, it is Barcelona, but they could struggle, especially if this match goes past the ninety-minute mark.
Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao Domestic Statistics
|2.05||Goals per game||1.17|
|16.4||Shots per game||10.8|
Athletic Bilbao Can Surprise a Big Side
Athletic Bilbao currently sits around the same position on the La Liga table they finished in last year. Their defense has not been quite as solid, however, this team is not an easy pass. They are led by new manager, Marcelino, who was only appointed just a mere ten days ago. It is clear this team is motivated by the new leadership in charge, and simply put, they have a chance because this manager actually has won trophies before at Valencia.
Two matches and Marcelino reaches a final with Atheltic Club. They play Barcelona on Sunday in the Supercopa Final ? pic.twitter.com/HVQhv5iC8p
— Champions League on CBS Sports (@UCLonCBSSports) January 14, 2021
Expect Bilbao to play a very controlled game while also implementing pressing to prevent Barcelona from building play. Barcelona are going to have to put their faith in Antoine Griezmann, but if they cannot link the play, it will be a very hard match for them to win. If Bilbao can keep it close, Inaki Williams and Iker Muniain have proved themselves to be effective attackers going in the other direction.
Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao Best Bet
Overall, the best bet for this match is the ‘Under’ on 2.5 total goals. This head-to-head matchup has finished under 2.5 total goals seven out of the last eight times it has been played, and without Messi, Barcelona could struggle greatly. Bilbao has a tricky defense and will play this game like a true final. Aside from this bet also having great value, it is the smart play in a game where really nobody is favoring Bilbao to go on and win. Expect Barcelona to lift silverware at the end of the night, but only doing so by a small margin of victory.
My Pick: Under 2.5 Total Goals (+125)