Before Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and the rest of Barcelona kick off 2017 in La Liga, they’ll take on Athletic Bilbao in a thrilling Copa Del Rey match. The first game of this Round of 16 showdown takes place on Jan. 5, so tune in to watch every second!
After defeating Hercules in the Round of 32, Barcelona advanced to draw Athletic Bilbao in the Round of 16. Just like the previous stage of the Copa del Rey tournament, this is a two-game round with the better-scoring team advancing to the next stage.
With Lionel Messi, 29, Neymar, 24, and Luis Suarez, 29, returning from the holiday break, refreshed and ready to go, expect to see the Trident aim high when they meet Bilbao at San Mames. The game is set for 3:15 PM ET so don’t miss a single second!
Soccer fans can tune into this game via Bein Sports (after they enter in their cable information.) CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE BARCELONA VS. ATHLETIC BILBAO LIVE STREAM
Barcelona has a rough start to 2017. Not only do they have to face Los Leones in this game, but they also have to face Villarreal in a La Liga match on Jan. 8. With Real Madrid just three points ahead of Blaugrana, a loss is the last thing the Catalans want to do is lose at the beginning of the new year.
FCB coach Luis Enrique may even decide to rest Luis, Lionel or Neymar for this Copa del Rey match, favoring their standing in La Liga over the tournament. Luis even gave the Trident (and Javier Mascherano, 32) permission “to return a little later than the rest of the group from South America,” the club said in a statement, per the International Business Times.
With Messi and Luis (at 12 goals each) leading La Liga in scoring, it would make sense that Luis Enrique might hold off on setting them lose until the bigger match. Yet, with FCB never winning the first game of the calendar year under Luis’s rule, according to ESPN, could the coach go all-out to break that tradition?
Who do you think will win this game, HollywoodLifers? Will Barcelona beat Bilbao and open up 2017 with a victory? Or will Los Leones hold Barca to a draw or upset Messi’s crew?