Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona: Date, Time, TV Info and Preview

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Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona: Date, Time, TV Info and Preview
David Ramos/Getty Images

La Liga leader Barcelona will hit the road this weekend to battle Athletic Bilbao in the two clubs' second and final meeting this season. Barca destroyed the Lions 5-1 at Camp Nou last December in the first matchup and will be a heavy favorite again Saturday.

The Spanish powerhouse won't be lacking motivation to put forth an impressive effort in the wake of Tuesday's 4-0 defeat at Bayern Munich in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal tie.

On the other side, Bilbao is coming off a hard-fought draw at Deportivo La Coruna last Sunday and aiming to build some momentum as they head into the home stretch of La Liga play.

Here, we'll get you set for Saturday's La Liga clash from Bilbao.

 

Where: Estadio San Mames, Spain

When: Saturday, April 27 at 12 p.m. ET

Watch: beIN Sport

 

Athletic Bilbao Player to Watch: Aritz Aduriz

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Not many football fans are familiar with veteran Spanish striker Aritz Aduriz, but Bilbao fans certainly are. 

The 32-year-old has netted a squad-leading 13 goals in 30 La Liga appearances for the Lions this season. Oddly enough, Aduriz is currently in the midst of his third stint with Bilbao. 

Aduriz's ability to not only create chances but capitalize on them will be key for Marcelo Bielsa's squad Saturday. Barcelona features a handful of topflight talent that can score in a hurry. Plus, Bilbao will likely have a limited number of scoring chances given Barca's short-passing, possession-oriented style.

Keep an eye out for the veteran forward Saturday. Whether he's starting or coming on late as a substitute, he has the talent to assist the Lions in pulling off the upset.

 

Barcelona Player to Watch: Cesc Fabregas

David Ramos/Getty Images

Barca midfielder Cesc Fabregas will be the player to watch for the visitors Saturday. The 25-year-old has emerged as one of the top passers and creators in Europe and will use his vision to create numerous chances for his side this weekend.

Fabregas has 10 goals and 10 assists in 27 La Liga appearances in 2012-13; one of those goals came against Bilbao last December.

An area where Fabregas has improved significantly in recent years is in front of goal, where he has developed into a lethal scorer. Now, his versatility has become a nightmare matchup for opposing defenders and will surely be for Bilbao's back line Saturday.

 

What will the result of Saturday's match be?

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Prediction

Considering how dominant Tito Vilanova's men have been against La Liga competition this season, winning 27 of 32 league matches overall, Barca looks like a safe bet in Bilbao Saturday.

After all, Bilbao has earned just a single point in its last three league matches, dropping its most recent home La Liga tilt 3-0 to Real Madrid. Plus, with Barca still fuming over their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, look for a determined performance from the soon-to-be La Liga champions.

The Lions will get on the board at home, but Barca possesses too much firepower.

Barcelona 3, Athletic Bilbao 1

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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