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Five key stats ahead of Barcelona vs Athletic Club

Barcelona will be aiming to pick up all three points when they play hosts to Athletic Club at Spotify Camp Nou on Sunday night.

After returning to winning ways with a commendable performance against Villarreal in midweek, the Blaugrana will need to keep the foot on the gas and push for another win, so as to continue keeping up the pressure on league leaders Real Madrid.

Heading into the encounter, Barcelona have history on their side as, since 2005/06, they have lost only three of their 34 La Liga matches against Athletic Club. Interestingly, all three defeats came when a certain Lionel Messi was absent.

What’s more, the last time Barça lost a match to Athletic Club at Camp Nou in any competition was way back in 2001. Since then, the Catalan giants have strung together a 25-game unbeaten streak versus Los Leones at home, winning 20 and drawing five matches.

Robert Lewandowski has been the main source of goals for Barcelona this season and is currently leading the goalscoring charts in La Liga. And the striker’s form heading into Sunday’s game bodes very well for the Blaugrana.

The 34-year-old scored a brace against Villarreal earlier this week, in the process becoming the oldest player in history to score 2+ goals in a La Liga game for Barcelona, at the age of 34 years and 60 days, beating Sandor Kocsis (34 years, 45 days in 1963).

Lewandowski’s brace meant that he is also only one of three players to have made at least two goal contributions in five different matches in the top five leagues in Europe – the other two being Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland.

Barça will expect more of the same from their veteran centre-forward when Ernesto Valverde’s side come visiting.

Frenkie de Jong put in an authoritative performance in midfield last time out against Villarreal. Getting the nod ahead of Sergio Busquets in the pivot position, the Dutchman bossed the midfield area, impressing with his defensive and attacking contributions.

Of the 440 players who have attempted 19 or more tackles in the top five leagues in Europe, de Jong is one of only two players to have a 100% success rate. Troyes’ Mama Balde is the other player to have done so.

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