It has not been a good start for FC Barcelona with the start of the calendar year 2017. They started the year with a shock 1-2 defeat against Athletic Club (Bilbao) in their first leg Copa del Rey round of 16 encounter and then were held by Villarreal 1-1 in the La Liga.
If teams earn their name owing to the comeback spirit, time has come for Barca to show what they are capable of.
Athletic and Barcelona once again renew their rivalry in the second leg of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday. The action now shifts to the Camp Nou, giving the home team the biggest of advantages.
Can Lionel Messi, who scored the solitary goal for Barcelona in the first leg, score again? Or maybe look forward for a brace and a hat-trick? Not so easy, says Barca coach Luis Enrique, but never say never! "We are going into the game a goal down, but the fact that we scored in the first leg has given us the confidence we need to get through the tie," said Enrique ahead of the game.
''If we score a goal, we will be ahead on aggregate and Athletic will have to take risks. It will be difficult because of the way Athletic play and what this match means to them.''
For Barcelona, midfielder Ivan Rakitic remains a doubt in the match on account of his niggling injuries, while the duo of Raul Garcia and Ander Iturraspe are suspended for the encounter owing to their respetive red cards in the first leg clash at San Mames.
Expected starting XI
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Denis, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar.
Athletic Bilbao: Iraizoz; Boveda, Laporte, Etxeita, Balenziaga; Benat, San Jose; Williams, Eraso, Muniain; Aduriz.
Copa del Rey: Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao 2017 schedule
Date: January 11
Time: 1:45 am IST (Thursday) [8:15 pm GMT, 3:15 pm EST]
Where to watch live
India: No telecast
UK: No telecast
Spain: Gol TV.
Live score: Twitter