Defending La Liga champions Barcelona will take on Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames stadium in the opener of this year's edition of the tournament on August 16. The Blaugrana will be looking forward to a winning start after a good pre-season campaign while Bilbao will have their task cut out to keep their opponents at bay.

Preview, Prediction and Schedule

Lionel Messi Luis Suarez
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

The 26-time La Liga champions will be aiming to start their campaign on a high. They have been impressive in their pre-season games and are raring to go for a superb display against Napoli. The Catalan club will miss the services of their leader and legendary footballer Lionel Messi who is still recovering from an injury.

But they have an impressive attacking trio to start with, consisting of Ousmane Dembélé, Luis Suárez and Antoine Griezmann. The defending champions also have a promising young footballer named Frenkie De Jong who was a very important part of the Ajax team which raised many eyebrows after their scintillating display in the Champions League last season. The Catalan club will ideally want to start their trophy defence with a victory away from home.

Athletic Bilbao

On the other hand, Bilbao are hoping to give a major setback to the giants by defeating them in the opener. They will hope for a good display in front of their home crowd. Inaki Williams will be a major threat for the Blaugrana as he will be eager to prove his worth. Iker Muniain is also a player to watch out for and he can also be a major threat for Barcelona.

The Catalan club are definitely the favourite to win the fixture but the last time both the teams met, Barca were held to a goalless draw by Los Leones. It will be a tough fixture for both the teams but Barcelona will probably win by a margin of two goals.

The Barcelona-Athletic Bilbao match will start at 9 PM local time and 12.30 AM on August 17 according to IST.

Live Streaming and how and where to watch in India

The match will not be telecasted in India as Sony Sports network did not get the broadcasting rights. The fixture will be streamed live on the official La Liga page on Facebook.