Barcelona-Athletic Bilbao: Marcelino ready for final

Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelino Garcia says he and his team are looking forward to the final: "The lads are on fire, they're really up for it."

Final Supercopa España: el balance de Marcelino contra el Barcelona
AFP7 vía Europa Press AFP7 vía Europa Press

Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelino Garcia said his side are up for the challenge of facing Barcelona in Sunday's Spanish Super Cup final.

Athletic positive Barça cup history

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The Basque side have a good cup record against Barcelona in recent years. They beat Barça to lift the 2015 Super Cup, which was the last time Bilbao won a trophy, and they also knocked the Catalans out of last season's Copa del Rey en-route to the final.

'The lads are on fire, they're really up for it. They're going to give everything to win,' he told a news conference.

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'You don't need to motivate the lads, they're on the verge of winning a trophy by knocking out both Real Madrid and Barcelona in the two games you play, which would be... I was going to say good, but it would be absolutely incredible.'

The 55-year old, who led Valencia to 2019 Copa del Rey title with victory over Barça in the final, also said he was not planning on changing his tactics should Lionel Messi be absent for the Catalans after missing the semi-final through injury.

'We need to play as we always do, while also bearing in mind how the opponent sets up,' he said.

'We won't change our philosophy or priorities based on if Messi is playing or not. Obviously, him being on the pitch lessens our chances of winning.

'We're planning on him playing, and being at his best, and it's up to us to stop him.'