Ernesto Valverde's side lost 2-2 against Valencia last season in the league, before moving from a disadvantage to the Copa del Rey semi-final against Real Madrid archers mid-week.
In the meantime, Bilbao will try to recover after the 2-1 away defeat against Real Sociedad last weekend, with the twelfth position in the standings of Gaizka Garitano and a lukewarm campaign.
The Barcelona remains at the top of the standings with an advantage of six points between them and Atletico Madrid in second place, although the Catalans will be ready to maintain a comfortable lead with three points on Sunday.
Where to look
|When is football?||Sunday 10 February|
|What time does Kick Off start?||7.45pm (BST)|
|Where is it played?||San Mames Stadium|
|TV channel / Live streaming?||Eleven sports|
|Referee?||Carlos Del Cerro Grande|
Athletic Bilbao will be without veteran striker Aritz Aduriz while the 37-year-old continues to recover from a knee problem.
Right-back Inigo Lekue and midfielder Mikel Rico are also absent, with both nursing injuries to the long-term ankle before Sunday's game.
Meanwhile, Barcelona is facing important defensive problems in view of his trip to the Basque Country, with Samuel Umtiti in a central position with a knee problem, while Jordi Alba is suspended for the clash with La Liga.
Ernesto Valverde is also suffering from a lack of options in the midfield at his disposal, with the Brazilian duo Arthur and Rafinha both absent respectively with a hamstring injury and a cruciate ligament rupture. Reserve goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen is also out.
Even Lionel Messi did not train on Friday and could miss, despite being out of the bench during the Copa del Rey draw with Real Madrid.
|Athletic Bilbao||Herrerin; Marcos, Alvarez, Martinez, Yuri; D. Garcia, San Jose; R. Garcia, Muniain, Cordoba; Williams.|
|Barcelona||Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Roberto; Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Dembele, Suarez, Coutinho.|
Head to head record
The previous meeting between the two teams ended in a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou in September, when a goal by Munir El Haddadi canceled Oscar de Marcos and saved the Rossoneri of the champions. ; beginning of the season.
The two teams met for the first time 98 years ago in the Copa del Rey final of 1920, when Barcelona lifted the cup with a 2-0 win.
Barcelona have a dominant record of 114 wins from the previous 224 games between the two teams, although Bilbao boasts the most margin of victory in all previous encounters – a 12-1 victory over the Catalans in 1931.
Messi is the top scorer of all time, with a total of 24 goals in previous games against Sunday's opposition.
The recent form of Athletic Bilbao has largely summarized what has been a mixed fortune season for the Basque side.
A triple header against Sevilla saw Gaizka Garitano's side defeated by the Los Hispalenses from the Copa del Rey round of 16 after losing 3-2 overall, despite winning the 0-1 return match. A 2-0 win on the side of Pablo Machin in La Liga was placed between the two legs.
Since then, Bilbao have attracted Villarreal, beat Real Betis and lost to Real Sociedad in their last three games and are hoping to restore consistency in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Barcelona defeated Bilbao's Cup conquerors with a 6-3 aggregate victory over Sevilla in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals, with Ernesto Valverde's side having overturned the 2-0 deficit from the first leg.
This second game was, however, the only victory for Barca in the last three games, having achieved the two games since then against Valencia and Real Madrid in the Liga and the first leg of the Clasico Copa del Rey semifinal, respectively.
Here is a look at how both sides made their previous five releases:
|Real Sociedad 2-1 Athletic Bilbao
|Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid
|Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Real Betis
|Barcelona 2-2 Valencia
|Villareal 1-1 Athletic Bilbao
|Barcelona 6-1 Seville
|Sevilla 0-1 Athletic Bilbao
|Girona 0-2 Barcelona
|Athletic Bilbao 2-0 Sevilla
|Sevilla 2-0 Barcelona
Both teams will try to return to winning on Sunday, but with the title race up for grabs and an extra margin of error for the top champions, the need for Barcelona for the three points is the greater of the two.
Ernesto Valverde's troops are starting to be tense because of injuries, but the Barca coach should have enough quality and firepower at his disposal to overcome his former team in what will probably be a tough fight in the countries Basque.