Levante vs Athletic Club predictions and match preview for Thursday’s Spanish Copa del Rey Semi-Final 2nd Leg. Read on for analysis and a score prediction as both sides aim to make a slice of history by reaching the Final.
|Date||Thursday 4th March 2021|
|Kick-Off||21:00 (local time)|
|Stadium||Ciutat de Valencia|
|Competition||Copa del Rey Semi-Final 2nd Leg|
Levante vs Athletic Club Preview
The Estadi Ciutat de València will witness arguably the biggest fixture in its history as Levante host Athletic Club in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi final on Thursday. A 1-1 draw in the first leg three weeks ago means that the tie is very finely poised but Levante could really fancy themselves here, having returned with Gonzalo Melero’s away goal from Bilbao. Iñigo Martínez’s header levelled things up in the second half and that’s how it stayed until the end.
Levante could break new ground as they are only 90 minutes away from their maiden Copa del Rey final. In fact, this is also the Valencian side’s first ever semi final appearance, a spot they secured by eliminating Villarreal in the quarter final last month thanks to late Extra Time heroics from Roger Martí.
The month of February was remarkable, to say the least, for Las Granotas. They earned four very valuable points from a LaLiga double header with leaders Atlético last week. A draw in Valencia followed by a 2-0 success in the capital meant that the title race was thrown wide open, something which Levante have been doing a lot in the recent seasons with their giant-killings. Dani Cárdenas, José Luis Morales and Jorge de Frutos were the important figures in the games against Atlético.
Levante and Athletic battled at the Ciutat de València on Friday night in LaLiga as well. Penalty goals from Roger and Raúl García resulted in another 1-1 draw between the two sides in a game that could have been won by Athletic as the bulk of the opportunities went the way of Los Leones. It was a surprisingly strong line-up put out by both Paco López and Marcelino, with both coaches opting not to rest their key men. We could expect more or less similar starting elevens for both sides on Thursday.
Since the first leg, Athletic have picked up five points in their three league games which, in theory, could have been all nine. Only against Cádiz did they fully unleash their ruthless attacking prowess in a 4-0 win. Against Villarreal and Levante, Los Leones had to be content with a point apiece although it can be said that they were the better side in both those games.
Nevertheless, it is no doubt that the Basques have transformed into a much stronger attacking side under new boss Marcelino. They have also become a sort of comeback team with their ability to claw back after going a goal down. In 2021, they have fallen behind in 10 games but have come back to win five and draw three of them. The two losses were against Barcelona.
Athletic Club continue to believe they can turn 2021 into a dream year for them. A win in the second leg would put them in a pleasantly odd situation of playing two Copa del Rey finals in the same month. If Athletic could win last season’s final against La Real on 3rd April, they would have the chance to defend their crown only a fortnight later. Should they win on Thursday, Los Leones will also qualify for next year’s Supercopa de España and be able to defend the title they won this year.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 4 Athletic Wins, 2 Draws.
- The sides have met twice already this year – drawing 1-1 both times in the 1st Leg of this tie and again on Friday in LaLiga.
- Athletic have won on 3 of their last 6 visits to this ground, losing only once.
- Levante’s only recent home win over Athletic came via a 3-0 margin in LaLiga in December 2018.
Levante vs Athletic Club Predictions
Score Prediction: Levante 1-2 Athletic Club (Athletic win 3-2 on aggregate)
This one is not an easy game to predict especially since there has been nothing to separate these two sides in their previous two encounters over the past three weeks. However, you could argue the big-game experience this Athletic team has, might just tip the scales in the favour of the Basques. They did extraordinarily well in the Supercopa beating both Real Madrid and Barcelona in high-pressure situations. It will be a different kind of contest against Levante, one that could be decided by fine margins and Athletic seem like the team to nick it.
Copa del Rey Betting Tips (18+)
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