Athletic Bilbao – Granada
Athletic Bilbao hosts Granada at the San Mames Barria in a first game between these two teams in the Copa del Rey’s 1/2-finals. The second leg in Granada is going to be played in the beginning of the next month.
Athletic Bilbao are dreaming of another final in the Copa del Rey right now. In the 1/4-finals the Basques made a huge statement after they eliminated the most successful team in the history of the competition Barcelona. They faced the Catalans at the San Mames Barria and the game was nearing the extra time, but Barca’s Sergio Busquets scored himself an own goal. This sent the Basques to the 1/2-finals.
Many people don’t know this but Athletic Bilbao are actually one of the most successful teams in the history of the Copa del Rey. The Basques have won the competition 23 times so far, which makes them the best team in it after Barcelona. That’s why they usually have a lot of confidence when they play in this tournament.
Granada also made a big statement during the 1/4-finals when they eliminated Valencia from the competition. Diego Martinez’ team hosted Los Che at the Nuevo Los Carmenes and celebrated a 2-1 win. Both goals in the game were scored by the former Spanish international Roberto Soldado. His second he scored from a penalty kick in the 94th minute.
Against Athletic Granada will try to reach the Copa del Rey final for a second time in their history. For a first time they reached the final in 1959, but they were beaten by Barcelona in the game for the trophy.
Athletic Bilbao will start this tie with the role of favourites, especially after eliminating Barcelona from the Copa del Rey. In same time they must be aware what happened to Valencia and don’t underrestimate Granada.