Pedro
Pedro may start for Barcelona against Athletic BilbaoGetty

Barcelona will aim to take a giant stride towards a fifth major title for the calendar year as they travel to the Basque Country to take on Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on 14 August.

Where to watch live

Kick-off is set for 9pm BST. The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 5 HD.

Overview

Athletic Bilbao will hope to take advantage of a few tired legs and minds in the Barcelona camp, who have just 72 hours to recuperate from the exertions of 11 August's dramatic 5-4 extra-time victory over Sevilla in the European Super Cup in Tbilisi.

Athletic boss Ernesto Valverde believes his players can take heart from Sevilla's near-success in midweek and arrest a four-match losing run against the Catalan giants, including last season's Copa del Rey final which Barca won 3-1.

The Basque club are without Andre Iturraspe, Inaki Williams, Mikel Rico and Iker Muniain, all sidelined through injury, for the 14 August clash.

Barcelona are on a high after their thrilling Super Cup victory in midweek but remain without Neymar, who is suffering from mumps, and Jordi Alba.

The Brazilian's absence could open the door for the unsettled Pedro to start the match, after the Spain international came off the bench to score the winning goal against Sevilla in Tbilisi.

What managers say

Ernesto Valverde: At this stage of the season, maybe [Barcelona] aren't in the kind of form they showed in the Copa del Rey final. Sevilla have shown us that they can be got at and we're going to try to do just that. We're going to fight for every single title. We've played against them so many times that maybe it's our turn to win.

Luis Enrique: Nobody knows at the moment if [Pedro] will start. I won't make my decision based on the market. I will not get involved in any more controversy. He is a player that is loved by everyone. I think he is showing the same spirit he has demonstrated during all the pre-season. We all know that this is a difficult and unusual situation.

Form guide

  • Athletic Bilbao (excluding friendlies): DWLWW
  • Last result: Inter Baku 0-0 Athletic Bilbao (Europa League qualifier)
  • Barcelona (excluding friendlies): WWWDW
  • Last result: Barcelona 5-4 (AET) Sevilla (Uefa Super Cup)

Betting odds (888sport)

  • Athletic Bilbao win: 23/4
  • Draw: 37/10
  • Barcelona win: 5/11

Team news

Athletic Bilbao possible XI: Herrerin; De Marcos, Etxeita, Laporte, Balenziaga; San Jose, Benat; Susaeta, Aketxe, Ibai; Aduriz

Barcelona possible XI: Bravo; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Mathieu; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Pedro