Barcelona will be without their captain Carles Puyol after he had to undergo knee surgery last week.
And the Catalans' defensive worries don't end there as Dani Alves has also been ruled out with a broken collarbone, so Pep Guardiola will either have to field youngster Martin Montoya at right-back or switch to a back three.
David Villa has also failed to recover from his broken tibia in time to make the squad so Andres Iniesta may again play in a more advanced role alongside Lionel Messi and Alexis Sanchez in attack.
However, despite often causing them problems, Athletic haven't beaten Barca during Guardiola's reign; the Catalans have won seven and drawn four of their 11 encounters over the past four years.
A seventh Spanish cup final between these two sides promises to be a fascinating and intense affair as Athletic go in search of their first trophy in 28 years, whilst Barca look to give Guardiola the perfect send-off.
Given how Athletic's pressing startled Barca in the earlier stages of their encounter in Bilbao this season, and the Catalans' propensity to start slowly, it wouldn't be surprising to see a similar game to when these two last met in the Copa del Rey final in 2009. That time around Athletic raced into an early lead before succumbing to a Barcelona surge in the second-half and losing 4-1.
Bielsa's men have enthralled at times this season, but, particularly in the Europa League final, have looked like a tired side in the closing weeks of the season and Barca remain strong favourites to lift their first trophy of 2012.
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