The 2019-20 Copa del Rey has thrown up some massive games already so far this season, and the push for the final is set to present some intriguing options.
The big news from the quarter final stage was the toppling of El Clasico pair Real Madrid and Barcelona, by Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao respectively.
Los Blancos defeat to Imanol Alguacil was one of the most thrilling games in recent seasons in Spanish cup action, as Martin Odegaard scored against his parent side, and highly rated young striker Alexander Isak netted twice in 4-3 win at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Athletic Bilbao were equally impressive at home to defending La Liga champions Barcelona, with a late 1-0 victory at San Mames.
With both sides safely through to the last four, the draw fortunately kept them apart, allowing for a potential first ever Basque derby in the final in over a century.
Athletic have been one of the most successful sides in the history of the competition, second behind Barcelona for all time wins, with 23.
However, they have only ever faced a fellow Basque side twice before, in Real Sociedad in 1910 and Racing de Irun in 1913.
Heading into this week’s semi final second legs, both sides are in pole position to go through, as Sociedad lead Segunda Division side Mirandes 2-1, and Athletic have a 1-0 advantage on Granada.
Alongside Odegaard and Isak, Mikel Oyarzabal – who has been linked with a summer move to Manchester City – has been key for Alguacil’s side, with Willian Jose also returning to the fold, after a potential January move to Tottenham fell through.
Gaizka Garitano’s side are not built on the same free flowing system as their neighbours, but the former Eibar midfielder has moulded them into an effective unit.
The goals of forward Inaki Williams have been key for them in the Copa so far this season, with three in four appearances for the Spanish international.
Neither side will be underestimating the task of navigating their way through tricky second leg ties, with both away from home this week, but the advantage is firmly with them as it stands.
A Basque final has been something missing from the competition for some time, and if results go the way of the form book this weekend, they are set for a showdown in Seville on April 18.
Whatever happens in the next round of games, there is sure to be more Copa excitement, and Golden Nugget Casino have a fantastic range of offers to play with.