Ace Football previews the Copa del Rey final between Athletic Club and FC Barcelona and offers the latest stats, tips, and team news.
The second Copa del Rey final in April takes place on Saturday night as Athletic Club and Barcelona compete for the 2020/21 title in Seville.
After losing the postponed final of the 2019/20 edition two weeks ago, Athletic hope for better luck this time around. The Leones have won the famous trophy 23 times, a record bettered by only Barcelona (30), and hope for a repeat of their famous Spanish Super Cup triumph back in January.
A close contest, therefore, is probable. Athletic are on a mission for redemption and have proved worthy foes for Barcelona, who are determined themselves to win a first trophy since 2019. Only a single goal tends to be the difference in this fixture.
Athletic Club Form & Stats
Marcelino’s side return to Seville on a six-match winless run in all competitions (D4 L2). It’s been a tough month. The struggles in La Liga are one thing, but losing to Basque rivals Real Sociedad 1-0 in the first Copa del Rey final earlier this month hurt like none before then.
Now Athletic face Barcelona for the 2020/21 final. History doesn’t favor them, having lost each of their last three finals to the Catalan club (2009, 2012, 2015). The expectation, however, will be less intense. And a victory on Saturday would certainly prove a game-changer for their season.
The 23-time champions, therefore, must pull themselves together. The second final on Saturday may not hold the same level of appeal as the first, but the chance of a first Copa del Rey title since that famous win over a Diego Maradona-led Barcelona in 1984 won’t be lost on them.
Key Team Stats
- On a 6-match winless run in all competitions (D4 L2).
- Over 2.5 goals in their last 3 games against Barcelona in all competitions.
- Lost their last 3 Copa del Rey finals to Barcelona in 2009, 2012, and 2015.
- Haven’t won the Copa del Rey since 1984.
- Failed to score in 3 of their last 5 games in all competitions.
- Marcelino Garcia Toral has beaten Barcelona twice in 24 attempts as a manager (D6 L16).
FC Barcelona Form & Stats
Barcelona, like Athletic in some ways, head to Seville wounded. The 2-1 Clasico defeat to Real Madrid was a tough one to swallow and dropped the club down to third in La Liga, making the Copa del Rey final even more important.
For a club of Barcelona’s stature, two seasons with no silverware is unacceptable. It leaves them under pressure to deliver on Saturday, despite their La Liga title hopes far from being over.
The record 30-time Copa del Rey winners, however, have risen to the occasion when called upon. They proved it by storming to a 3-0 win over Sevilla in the second leg of their semi-final tie, enabling them to overcome a 2-0 aggregate deficit. It’s also worth noting they have beaten Athletic twice in La Liga this season.
Key Team Stats
- Won 7 of their last 10 games in all competitions (D2 L1).
- Won 6 of their 8 Copa del Rey finals against Athletic Club (L2).
- Scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 games against Athletic Club in all competitions.
- Lionel Messi has scored 29 goals in 33 finals for Barcelona and has supplied 12 goals in his last 12 matches.
- Ronald Koeman has taken charge of 10 finals in his managerial career, winning just 5 times (L5).
Out: Oier Zarraga, Peru Nolaskoain.
Doubts: Yuri Berchiche, Yeray Alvarez.
Out: Philippe Coutinho, Ansu Fati, Neto.
(Note: The image will change to the official XI once they’re both announced)
Head-To-Head Record (Copa del Rey)
Below are some head-to-head stats on each team’s recent form in Copa del Rey.