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Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona: Guardiola to bid farewell with cup win

| 25.05.2012

Athletic Bilbao were prospective double winners only a fortnight ago, but they now face the possibility of ending the season empty-handed, at 8/1 to beat Barcelona in 90 minutes on Friday.

Bilbao suffered a crushing 3-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final, and now look unlikely to overcome 3/10 favourites Barcelona in this week’s Copa del Rey final too.

It is 9/2 the match goes to extra-time, and those backing that outcome will take heart from the 2-2 draw these sides played out during the past season.

However, as Pep Guardiola prepares to sign off from Barcelona, an emphatic Catalan victory would look a more likely proposition.

In their last four matches against Spanish opposition Barcelona have racked up an astonishing 17 goals, making the 7/4 odds about them scoring four or more times on Friday look appealing.

Barca also look good at 8/15 to win a match featuring three or more goals, as they have done in three of their last four matches heading into this game.

A case can be made for Bilbao scoring in the match, as they have in three of the last four meetings between the sides, so some punters will take the 4/6 odds on both teams to find the net.

As well as being obviously brilliant going forward though, Barcelona also had the best defensive record in La Liga last season, and may be worth investment at 5/4 for a clean sheet.

They are also 11/8 to win without conceding, which may prove a preferable option for many punters.

Lionel Messi, rather predictably, heads the betting in the first scorer market, at 9/4 to add to his 72 goals in all competitions this season with the opener on Friday.

Fernando Llorente is shortest priced for Bilbao meanwhile, though the powerful Spain forward is as long as you are ever likely to see him at 8/1 to break the deadlock.



John Klee