Athletic Club vs Levante predictions and match preview for Thursday’s Spanish Copa del Rey Semi-Final 1st Leg. Read on for analysis and a score prediction as two in-form teams clash.
- DATE: Thursday 11th February 2021
- KICK-OFF: 21:00 (local time)
- STADIUM: San Mames
- COMPETITION: Copa del Rey Semi-Final 1st Leg
Athletic Club vs Levante Preview
The Copa del Rey action continues on Thursday as Athletic Club host Levante in the semi-final first leg at San Mamés in Bilbao. Both sides come into this fixture in a remarkable run of form and will, without a doubt, fancy their shot at winning the cup.
Having already won the Supercopa last month, Athletic find themselves within three matches of lifting another trophy. Los Leones are also yet to contest last year’s final, due to be played in April against Basque rivals Real Sociedad. It would be an unprecedented treble in less than four months if Marcelino’s side could make it happen.
Athletic have been racking up lots of comeback wins lately. Indeed all their wins in the Copa del Rey have come after being a goal down. They needed late strikes to see off third tier sides Ibiza and Alcoyano in the first two rounds. But the latest of those strikes came last week in the quarter final against Real Betis at the Benito Villamarín where Raúl García’s headed equaliser in the 94th minute sent the game to extra time. It eventually went to penalties where Unai Simón produced two saves to send the visitors into the last four. In doing so, Athletic reached two consecutive cup semi finals for the first time since 1987.
We are seeing a new Athletic under Marcelino in 2021. The change in formation has enabled them to be more dangerous in attack and they’ve netted 19 times in the last 9 matches. They were without the duo of Raúl García and Iker Muniain for the weekend’s 1-1 draw against Valencia due to a suspension and muscle injury respectively. It meant some extra rest for Raúl García for Thursday’s encounter, while Muniain should also be fit to feature again.
Levante will play in the Copa del Rey semi finals for the first time. Their best run previously were two quarter-finals in 2012 and 2014 where they were knocked out by Valencia and Barcelona respectively.
Paco López’s side have put their early-season relegation troubles aside and have embarked on a scintillating run in 2021. Las Granotas are unbeaten in the last nine matches and have lost only two of their last 21 in all competitions. They defeated Villarreal in dramatic fashion last week to clinch the semi final spot. Roger Martí’s finish in the 121st minute made all the difference on an emotional night at the Ciutat de València. This Levante side are very high on confidence at the moment and their terrific 2-1 success at the Alfredo Di Stéfano is also fresh. Their ability to turn up against big names will make them believe they do stand a chance of making it to the big final in Seville in April.
There was more good news last week as captain José Luis Morales signed a new contract till 2023 and celebrated it with a brace in the 2-2 draw versus Granada on Saturday. Morales and Roger have been one of the most lethal duos in Spain this season with a combined tally of 21 goals for Levante. The cup tie at San Mamés will be a special night for El Comandante, captaining his beloved Levante in its first ever semi final, on the pitch where he made his league debut six years ago.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 4 Athletic Wins, 2 Levante Wins.
- The recent history is on Athletic’s side with all of the last 4 meetings going their way.
- They won 2-0 at San Mames when the sides met earlier this season.
- Levante have lost on 5 of their last 6 trips to San Mames but did win 3-1 here in April 2018.
Athletic Club vs Levante Predictions
Score Prediction: Athletic Club 1-1 Levante
These are two of the more free scoring teams in Spain at the moment, so we can expect goals, but probably not a lot of them considering how massive this game is. It could be a somewhat cautious approach from the two sides on Thursday, with neither of them taking too much risk. A score draw wouldn’t be a bad result for either team as they would look to settle the tie in the return leg in Valencia next month.
Copa del Rey Betting Tips (18+)
You can view our tips for this match and the other Copa del Rey tie this week by signing up to follow LaLiga Expert’s All Competitions Portfolio on Tipstrr. You can view our profit/loss stats and success ratios there.
Please note, we don’t guarantee any long-term gains if you’re backing our tips. If you do choose to bet, only stake what you can afford to lose. See BeGambleAware for more on responsible gambling.
Read More – Levante: LaLiga’s Unsung Entertainers