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Barcelona forward Lionel Messi's record vs. Athletic Bilbao

Ahead of Sunday's La Liga clash between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, Sports Mole looks at how Lionel Messi has fared against the Basque outfit in the past.

Barcelona are bidding to return to winning ways following back-to-back draws when they take on Athletic Bilbao at San Mames on Sunday evening.

The La Liga leaders were held by Valencia in their most recent league outing before only managing a 1-1 draw at home to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday night.

Lionel Messi was called upon as a second-half sub in the Clasico but will return to the starting XI this weekend as Barca aim to keep Atletico and Real at arm's length following Saturday's Madrid derby.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how the Argentine has fared against Athletic in the past.



LMvBIL

As is the case against almost every team, Messi has a superb record against Athletic, directly contributing to 34 goals in as many games.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has only scored more goals against four other clubs than he has against Athletic, racking up 24 including 15 in 23 La Liga appearances.

Messi drew a blank in the reverse fixture this season, but 14 of those La Liga goals have come in his last 17 top-flight editions of this fixture, and he has also registered all seven of his La Liga assists in that time.

Interestingly, the Argentine maestro has only ever scored more than one goal in one of his previous league games against Athletic, and has done so on just three occasions in the 34 meetings across all competitions - a relatively low figure for a player like Messi.

Nonetheless, he has also never been on the losing side in the 23 previous La Liga meetings, and has won on each of his last four league visits to San Mames.

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Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona on December 11, 2018
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