Athletic Bilbao face Real Sociedad this evening at La Cartuja in what will be a historic Copa del Rey final, with both Marcelino and Imanol Aguacil naming the starting lineups they’ve entrusted to do battle in the Andalusian night.
— Athletic Club (@AthleticClub) April 3, 2021
The game was supposed to have taken place last season, but was postponed in the hope that by April of 2021 supporters would be able to attend, a hugely important consideration for both Basque clubs. That still isn’t possible unfortunately, with the game taking place down in Seville without any public.
A lot of the talk pre-game was centred around whether La Real would give Athletic a guard of honour, a typically contentious thing to do when playing a bitter rival. Athletic beat Barcelona to lift the Supercopa de Espana this past January, as well as reaching the final of this season’s Copa.
💙 Zuekin, REALA!
💙 Guregatik, zuengatik, ez daudenengatik. Un once para la eternidad.
— Real Sociedad Fútbol (@RealSociedad) April 3, 2021
Athletic have a storied history in the competition, winning it 23 times. They last won it in 1984, however, meaning that they now have two shots at what could be a historic victory. La Real have won the Copa just twice, with their most recent triumph coming in 1987. They’ve fallen off domestically a little this season, unable to maintain their lightning start, so will be keen to give their best.