Granada vs Athletic Bilbao predictions, H2H and match preview for this Thursday’s Copa del Rey Semi-Final 2nd Leg. Read on for analysis and predicted line-ups as Athletic try to defend a one goal advantage at Los Carmenes.
by Mark Sochon – @marksoc1
1st Leg Highlights
Granada vs Athletic Bilbao Preview – 2nd Leg
The Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes is the venue for the last match of the Copa del Rey Semi-Finals as Granada and Athletic Club face off for a place in the Final. Athletic were largely dominant in the 1st Leg at San Mames but only left with a 1-0 advantage courtesy of Iker Muniain’s goal. A clean sheet for the Basques was key but it will be much tougher this week with Granada a considerably tougher nut to crack on home soil.
Diego Martinez’s side sent holders Valencia packing here in the Quarter-Finals with veteran Roberto Soldado scoring a brace. That kind of experience will certainly come in handy on a pressure night like this with Granada desperate to make it through to their first cup Final since their only previous appearance in 1959. They can take real belief from having won 62% of their home league games this season, their first campaign back in the top flight after two years in the Segunda.
Athletic’s dodgy away record will also give them reason to be positive. The Basques have only won once on the road in La Liga this term. They are defensively very solid though and will believe they may only need to score once to seal their progress to the Final. While they may not be great travellers, it is also worth noting that only once this season have they lost an away game by a margin that would definitely see them eliminated here – a 2-0 defeat against Atletico Madrid.
There will be a bit of a dilemma for Gaizka Garitano when it comes to exactly how to approach this. There will be some temptation to really go for that away goal that would leave Granada needing an improbable 3 but it goes against Athletic’s nature to really chase a game, particularly on the road.
Granada vs Athletic Bilbao Predictions
Score Prediction: 1-0 Granada
This should be considerably more evenly contested than the 1st Leg which Athletic bossed for the most part. Granada will have terrific backing at Los Cármenes and this is not going to be easy for the visitors at all. Granada look capable of winning this match but it will be tough to secure a two goal margin against a side as defensively sound as Athletic. This one could go the distance.
Copa del Rey Betting Tips (18+)
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Granada vs Athletic Bilbao H2H
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 4 Athletic Wins, 1 Granada Win, 1 Draw.
- Athletic have won the last 4 meetings.
- That includes their 1-0 victory in the 1st Leg of this tie three weeks ago.
- The last 6 meetings in Granada have been more even though with 2 wins each and 2 draws.
Predicted Line Ups
Rui Silva – Duarte, Martínez, Vallejo, Ismail – Foulquier, Herrera – Vadillo, Eteki, Fede Vico – Soldado (4-2-3-1)
Unai – Capa, Yeray, Martínez, Yuri – Dani Garcia, Vesga – Raul Garcia, Muniain, Ibai Gomez – Williams (4-2-3-1)