Spain

Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao

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Alves: Hamstrung

Alves: Hamstrung

Barcelona will set a new record for the best-ever start to a La Liga season if they beat Athletic Bilbao at the Nou Camp on Saturday night.

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The Catalan outfit equaled the run set by arch-rivals Real Madrid back in 1991/92 with their 4-0 victory at Levante last weekend to maintain their three-point lead over Atletico Madrid at the top of the standings.

Los Leones, meanwhile, are looking to return to winning ways having drawn 1-1 with Deportivo La Coruna last time out, which was preceded by a heavy 5-1 defeat away to Los Merengues.

However, Bilbao's record against the Blaugrana does not make for good reading as they haven't beaten this weekend's opponents since the 3-1 home success in May 2006.

In team news, Barca coach Tito Vilanova will be without wing-back Dani Alves due to a hamstring injury, while fellow defender Adriano is struggling to shake off an illness.

Forward duo Alexis Sanchez and Isaac Cuenca remain on the treatment table, along with defender Marc Bartra.

For the visitors, right-back Andoni Iraola is expected to miss out with a muscular injury sustained in training.

But Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa will welcome back striker Aritz Aduriz from a one-match suspension, although midfielder Carlos Gurpegui is still recovering from injury and remains on the sidelines.

Posted: 30/11/12 15:04

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