The Catalans won all their pre-season friendlies bar one and have been backed to win their first match of the season…

FC Barcelona are set to kick off their La Liga title defence against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday at the San Mames (5am AEST).

Ernesto Valverde’s men won all their pre-season friendlies bar one and are priced at $1.67 to start their 2019-20 league campaign with a win. The home team, who are unbeaten in their last 11 home games, are at $5 to nick a win, with a stalemate being traded at $3.75. Interestingly, the two games between these two teams last season ended as draws. 

The Bilbao attack rarely fired blanks last season at their home ground and they have been able to find the net at least once in their last seven matches. A win for Gaizka Garitano’s talented crop, with both teams getting on the scoresheet, is at $8. A Barcelona win with both teams scoring can fetch a return at $3.30 whereas a goalscoring draw is at $4.50.

Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez were on target as Barcelona handed Napoli a heavy defeat in their final pre-season friendly. They’re touted to repeat a similar performance in their La Liga opener at $26. The handicap deal for Valverde’s men to win by more than a goal is priced at $2.75

With Lionel Messi set to miss the game due to an injury, Luis Suarez and new signing Antoine Griezman are expected to take up the mantle and come up with the goals. The Uruguayan has been backed to score the first goal at $4 while the odds for Griezmann are at $4.50. The duo, with the support of Ivan Rakitic and new arrival Frenkie De Jong in midfield, is expected to play a vital part in Barcelona’s league campaign. 

A goal for the former Atletico Madrid forward on his league debut is available at $1.91. As for the hosts, Inaki Williams is touted as the most likely goalscorer at $3.10.

With the Blaugrana raring to go after a phenomenal league-winning season, a high-scoring affair cannot be ruled out. A goal-fest with more than 2.5 goals is at $1.66 whereas one with less than 2.5 goals is being traded at $2.10.

Backing Barcelona to be in the lead at the half-time whistle will fetch a deal at $2.20 and a clean sheet for Ter Stegen after 90 minutes is at $2.62.

Odds correct at the time of publishing. Please gamble responsibly. Check out the latest football odds at Sportsbet.

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