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Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao: 3 things that will shape the outcome of Copa Del Rey Final

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Barcelona take on Athletic Club de Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey final for the third time in six years.

The Catalans comprehensively won the other two under Pep Guardiola, the second time in 2012 being Pep's final game as manager.

A win for the Blaugrana again will guarantee Luis Enrique the double in his first season as manager, whilst a Los Leones victory should give Ernesto Valverde and his men a real shot in the arm after a difficult campaign.

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Let's take a look at three things that will shape the outcome to the match...

Home advantage?

After Real Madrid declined to stage the final at the Santiago Bernabeu, both teams settled on Camp Nou to maximise the amount of fans able to watch the game in the stadium.

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Given that it's Barcelona's home ground, one might suspect that there would be a distinct advantage to the Blaugrana.

Real Madrid will tell you that it's a completely different kettle of fish playing with half of your stadium full of away fans rather than the odd few hundred. As they found out when they lost at home to Atletico Madrid at this stage in 2013.

Aduriz the danger man

He might be getting on a bit but Aritz Aduriz has lost none of his attacking prowess.

The 34-year-old centre-forward has scored some important goals throughout the season for Athletic Club, never better than a towering header to win the match at the New San Mames against Real Madrid.

He possesses the old-school characteristics of a robust natural game allied to close control and a superb appreciation of space and those around him.

Whether as scorer or provider, if Barca don't stick tightly to Aduriz for the entire game, he could well be decisive.

Barca's best form

Only three defeats in 2015 in all competitions is amongst the best form of any team in Europe's top five leagues.

Barcelona have built up a head of steam since their defeat in the first game of the year against Real Sociedad.

Only Malaga in La Liga, and Bayern Munich in the Champions League when the game was already lost, are the teams to have defeated Luis Enrique's side this year.

Athletic will need to improve significantly from their 2-5 defeat when these teams last met in February.

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