Athletic Club vs Osasuna predictions and match preview for Tuesday’s Copa del Rey Semi-Final 2nd Leg. Read on for analysis ahead of the big showdown in Bilbao.
|Tuesday 4th April 2023
|Copa del Rey
Athletic Club vs Osasuna Preview
Athletic Club seek to overturn a 1-0 deficit when they face Osasuna in the 2nd Leg of this Copa del Rey Semi-Final. It’s sure to be a cauldron of noise at San Mames on Tuesday, as was the case five weeks ago at El Sadar when Abde Ez struck to give Jagoba Arrasate’s side a slender lead in the tie.
Ernesto Valverde’s men will still certainly believe they can turn things around. They are invariably better with home advantage, although they have gone 3 home league games without tasting victory. Girona and Barcelona both left San Mames with maximum points prior to Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Getafe where Valverde opted to rest some key players ahead of this game.
Inigo Martinez, Nico Williams and Oihan Sancet were all left on the bench and while the latter two were later introduced, they couldn’t find a breakthrough. There was at least some positive news at Full Time with Sancet addressing those that stayed after the final whistle to announce a new deal that will in theory keep him at the club for the next nine seasons. Pamplona-born Sancet should return to the starting XI here against his hometown club with the pressure on Athletic to find a goal to level things up on aggregate.
Osasuna also rested players and also ended up with a 0-0 draw in their last league game. Their Friday night trip to Mallorca was not one for the purists but Jagoba Arrasate would have been relatively content with a point in the circumstances you’d imagine. His side are also pushing for a European place via the league but the chance to reach a cup final is clearly a huge priority for both of these clubs.
In truth, Osasuna haven’t been playing particularly well of late. They’ve not scored a goal since the 1st Leg of this tie, firing blanks in their 4 league games since then. However it does feel like they are quite well suited to being in a position like this where they need to defend a lead. They are a very organised, disciplined team and Athletic will have to work for their opportunities.
Score Prediction: Athletic Club 1-0 Osasuna (Aggregate: 1-1, Athletic to Win on Penalties)
This always had the makings of a very competitive tie with little between the teams and Osasuna’s 1-0 win in Pamplona in the 1st Leg has not changed that. Athletic do have an appetite for a big night in the cup in Bilbao though and they have a little bit more in the way of attacking quality, not least with Osasuna still sweating over the fitness of main dangerman Chimy Avila. The home team look the more likely victors on the night, but there’s every chance this could go the distance.
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