Barcelona Coach, Luis Enrique has confessed that he will be placing much premium on Sunday’s La Liga clash against Athletic Bilbao as he is keen to avenge their 4-0 Supercopa defeat to in the hands of their opponent.
Los Leones denied the Catalans of a historic second sextuple at the beginning of the season, and the Coach – while fulsome in his praise of his side’s opponents – made it clear unfinished business was on the agenda.
“I expect the same Athletic as always,” he said at a Press conference.
“[I expect] a very high intensity, but we’re more than accustomed to playing against them.
“We know them perfectly well and it’ll be difficult for them.
“It’s crucial that we keep up in the title race. The players already know the effort that our opponents demand of us.
“[On three straight games against Athletic], they’re a team whom I’ve admired for many years and that I consider attractive.
“We’re focused on the League match first and then we’ll think about the Copa [del Rey].
“We have a history after what happened in the Supercopa.
“They’re one of the few teams who have beaten us heavily and the team who denied us the sextet, so there’s added motivation for us. I’d have preferred to play another team.
“[The 4-0 Supercopa defeat] had special circumstances. We only had a few days to recover from Tbilisi [the European Super Cup against Sevilla].
“It was a controlled game, in which we could’ve equalised but fell apart in the final stages.
“With Athletic, there’s never an easy ball. They’re a team who work hard and know how to curb our style of play. Enrique concluded.