Athletic Bilbao hosts Real Madrid in the Spanish Copa del Rey quarterfinals. The match will be played on Thursday, February 3rd at Estadio San Mamés (Bilbao)
In the last round of Spanish LaLiga, Athletic Bilbao was stronger than Rayo Vallecano in Madrid (0-1). After that victory, the Lions earned 31 points, and they were enough to move up to ninth place in the standings. The gap to the top six was reduced to three points. In the last nine matches in all tournaments, Marcelino’s men suffered only two defeats. Interestingly, they were recorded in the games against Real Madrid! As for the current draw of the Spanish Cup, Athletic Bilbao has played only two matches. In the 1/16 finals, the Basques were stronger than Atlético Mancha Real (0-2). This was followed by a rather unexpected victory over Barcelona with a score of 3-2. Curiously, the Basques lost to the Catalans in the final of the last Spanish Cup.
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On January 20 and 23, Real Madrid played two matches against Elche in the Copa del Rey and LaLiga (1-2 and 2-2). Ten days passed between the last game with Elche and the match against Athletic Bilbao. I think the Galacticos had enough time to recover from an unfortunate draw. Be that as it may, Carlo Ancelotti’s men are in good shape. In the previous six matches in all tournaments, they have not suffered a single defeat: one draw and five victories. It is noteworthy that Real Madrid scored at least two goals in each of those games. The metropolitan club won the Copa del Rey back in 2014. OF course, the Whites will try to win this trophy in the current season!
In the current season, Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid have already played against each other three times. All three matches ended with victories for the Whites. Of course, the Basques will make every effort to ensure that this does not happen again. I think that they will have good chances to at least not lose in regulation time. As you know, the Lions have historically performed very well at their native stadium, regardless of the opponent and the tournament. For Real Madrid, the victory in the Cup is of great importance. I think that Ancelotti will field a lineup that will be close to the optimal one. Of course, the team will start attacking from the first minutes, so as not to bring the match to a penalty shootout. But I think we will see goals in both nets in regulation time.