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.
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.body check tags ::