Cordoba welcome Sevilla in an Andalusian Derby in the Copa del Rey

Cordoba welcome Sevilla to El Arcangel this evening in the first round of the Copa del Rey. It’s a game that carries extra spice – not only is it straight knockout, with a Primera high-flier going to a club residing in the third tier. But it’s a game being contested by clubs representing cities less than an hour apart by train. It’s an eastern Andalusian Derby.

While Cordoba and Seville are considered to be similar in many ways – they’re the two hottest cities in Europe and share a Moorish history that greatly influences their architecture – they couldn’t be more different from a sporting perspective.

Cordoba’s history is modest. They currently reside in Segunda Division RFEF Group 4, the third tier of Spanish football, and have spent just one season in the Primera (2014/15) in the 21st Century. Despite this, however, they are in good form. They’re top of their division, with 31 points from their opening 12 games.

Sevilla’s is significantly less modest. One of the biggest clubs in Spain, they’ve won La Liga once, the Copa five times and the Europa League six times. They’ve never dropped below Segunda throughout their history, and have spent the vast majority of their time in Primera. In recent seasons they’ve established themselves as the strongest force in Spain outside of Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

But football is football, and stranger things have happened than an upset in the Copa. A good crowd is expected at El Arcangel as tickets have proved difficult to get. Cordoba fans will flock to the game to see their boys do battle with Spain’s elite, as well as get a glimpse of high-profile players like Jules Kounde and Ivan Rakitic. Sevilla fans will be keen to make the journey to Cordoba to live a different kind of football, the lower-tier.

Sevilla are also expected to take the Copa seriously this season. The title looks beyond them this term – Madrid look too strong – and they have a fight on their hands to make it to the last 16 of the Champions League. They last won the Copa in 2010, and made it to the semi-final last season only to lose to Barcelona.

Cordoba won’t win the Copa, but they do have an opportunity before them to make memories. And for a club like Cordoba, that’s what football is all about. Titles come and go, but giant-killings and magical nights live long in the memory. Whatever the result, everyone in attendance at El Arcangel this evening will hope for a night they won’t forget.

Tags Copa del Rey La Liga Sevilla