Friday saw the draw for the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey take place, with a host of interesting match-ups resulting from it.
On Wednesday 25 January, Barcelona will take on Real Sociedad. The two teams are in stellar form at the moment, with the Blaugrana coming off of an emphatic 5-0 win against Ceuta in the last round. The Basque oufit will be no pushover though, and they currently sit third in La Liga with four straight victories.
On the same evening, Osasuna will play Sevilla in Pamplona. The hosts will be flying after a dramatic win on penalties against Real Betis in the last round. Sevilla on the other hand, have been struggling as of late, languishing in the relegation zone, and playing inconsistent, unconvincing football. They will have to greatly improve if they wish to progress to the semi-finals.
Thursday the 26th will have Valencia and Athletic Club battle it out at Mestalla’s great colosseum. Both teams are having mixed seasons, floating around the middle of the league table, and both will have lingering frustrations from previous games; Valencia’s loss on penalties to Real Madrid in the Supercopa, and Athletic’s defeat against Basque rivals Real Sociedad will ensure that the two teams are fired up for this crucial clash.
The headline game will also be played on Thursday: Real Madrid versus Atlético Madrid. The capital’s giants go head-to-head under the lights of the Santiago Bernabéu. One of Spain’s biggest rivalries will flare up once again as the two fight to forge their way to the semi-finals in what will undoubtedly be a fiery contest in this single-legged tie.
The sides have faced off in the Copa del Rey on 17 previous occasions. Real Madrid have won 11 of those games, while Atleti have won six. Both sides have seen some faltering in form recently, but if there’s one game in which the two teams will be back to their very best, it will be this one.
GSFN | Nicolás Antúnez de Mayolo