Lionel Messi Barcelona
Lionel Messi will look to inspire Barcelona against Athletic Bilbao in their La Liga gameReuters

Barcelona will have revenge on their minds against Athletic Bilbao in their La Liga opener in San Mames on Sunday.

Athletic Bilbao stunned the reigning European and La Liga champions in the Spanish Super Cup, winning the two-legged tie 5-1 on aggregate.

Barcelona were overwhelmed in the first leg at San Mames in that match, losing 4-0 thanks to a hat-trick from Aritz Aduriz, and that deficit proved to be too tall to scale as the second leg at the Camp Nou ended 1-1.

Having already lost 4-0 at Bilbao's home ground, Barcelona will go into this match a little wary, but what cannot be ignored also is that this is now the real deal – no more glorified preseason games, the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez will be a lot more geed up for this encounter.

"Despite the fact that we have played against them twice already, the context of the game will help us more than the previous two," Barcelona manager Luis Enrique said. "We will be fresher with more good training sessions under our belt, on the other hand, Athletic are coming off the back of a demanding and important game."

Enrique admitted Barcelona need to find a way to negate Athletic Bilbao's pressing tactics, which caused them so many problems last time around.

"They are a team who are very uncomfortable to play against -- they press you and don't let you play," Enrique added. "They know how to counter and they can play the long ball up to Aduriz, who as we well know, can cause big problems at any time."

Athletic Bilbao will look to ride on that brilliant Spanish Super Cup victory, even if they know the "context" of this La Liga game is completely different. Even if it was just a glorified preseason game, a win is a win and when it comes in such emphatic circumstances, it does have an effect.

"I reckon that we have another hard task ahead of us, playing against the favourites to win the league title," Athletic Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde said. "It'll be a very tough game, but we'll do our best to get the result we're looking for.

"In these types of games, it's not only the physical state that's important, the mental state counts for a lot, too. The two Super Cup games give us a slight advantage because we were capable of facing up to them effectively, although pulling one over on them again won't be so easy."

Team news: Barcelona: Neymar has recovered from mumps, but has been left behind as he builds his match fitness. Enrique will also have to do without Douglas and his two experienced defenders Jeremy Mathieu and Gerard Pique. Mathieu is serving a one-match suspension, while Pique has been banned for the next four matches. Jordi Alba, though, returns after missing the Super Cups.

Athletic Bilbao: The home team are also without their fair share of players, with Kike Sola, Inaki Williams, Mikel San Jose, Andre Itturaspe and Iker Muniain. Xabi Etxeita could miss out as well owing to a knee injury.

Where to Watch Live

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona is scheduled for a 10 pm IST (6.30 pm CET, 5.30 pm BST. 12.30 pm ET) start with live TV coverage in India on Sony Kix. Viewers in India can also watch the match via live streaming online on Livsports.

Viewers in the UK can watch the La Liga match live on Sky Sports, while the action can also be live streamed on Sky Go. Spain viewers can catch the match live on Canal+.

Audience in the USA, Canada, Australia, the Middle East and North Africa will be able to watch Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao live on Bein Sports, while the live stream option is on Bein Sports Connect.

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