Valencia vs Athletic Club predictions and match preview for Thursday’s Copa del Rey Quarter Final. Read on for analysis ahead of this rerun of last season’s Semi Final.
|Thursday 26th January 2023
|20:00 (local time)
|Copa del Rey
Valencia vs Athletic Club Preview
Mestalla is the setting for the meeting of Valencia and Athletic Club for a Copa del Rey Quarter-Final that is very tough to call. Both sides have struggled a bit since the resumption of LaLiga and progress into the last four of the cup would be a real boost for either coach.
The Copa del Rey has frequently been the most exciting thing about being a Valencia supporter in recent years. This is their 5th Quarter Final in the space of 6 years with their trophy win under Marcelino in 2018/19 the club’s most recent glory night, although they came mighty close last season, losing to Betis on penalties in the Final under Pepe Bordalas.
Gennaro Gattuso is the latest Valencia boss looking to the Copa as a handy distraction to what is increasingly turning into another underwhelming league campaign. It’s just 1 win in 9 league games now for Los Che with their last two producing a home defeat against Cadiz and home draw against Almeria. They’ve had no such worries in the cup so far though, dispatching La Nucia 3-0 before an impressive 4-0 win at second tier Sporting Gijon last week.
Athletic Club are also going through a bit of a rough patch in the league. Their 2-0 home defeat against Real Madrid at the weekend means they are now outside the European places in LaLiga with just 2 points and only 1 goal in their 4 league outings since the World Cup. They still had spells where they exerted real pressure on Los Blancos on Sunday and fundamentally this is by no means broken, but the finishing touch is deserting them right now.
Their Copa del Rey run so far has seen them dispatch three lower league sides on the road before a 1-0 home win against Espanyol last week. Athletic have also enjoyed strong cup runs in recent years and are bidding to make their fourth straight Semi-Final here. They will have a touch of revenge on their mind after they were eliminated at Mestalla at the last four stage last season with Goncalo Guedes netting a 2nd Leg screamer for Los Che to seal a 2-1 aggregate win.
Score Prediction: Valencia 1-1 Athletic Club (Athletic to Win on Penalties)
This has the feel of a tie that stands a very good chance of going the distance. Athletic are marginally the stronger side but they’re not looking convincing in front of goal and may struggle to make their superiority count over 90 and potentially 120 minutes. Don’t be surprised if we need a shootout to settle this which may bring back bad memories for Valencia of last season’s Final.
PLEASE NOTE – Our Copa del Rey predictions are not betting tips! No profits are guaranteed if you’re using them to bet on Spanish football. If you are gambling, do so responsibly and never stake more than you can afford to lose. BeGambleAware.