Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona – Camp Nou, Barcelona at 20:30 live on Sky Sports 5
Copa del Rey royalty face each other in this years final as 26 time winners Barcelona take on 23 time winners Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou on Saturday. The final of the Kings Cup was in danger of getting forgotten due to Barca’s Champions League final next weekend, but with La Liga winners aiming to secure a domestic double to keep the treble alive and Bilbao looking for their first trophy in over 20 years, this should be a entertaining encounter.
Athletic Bilbao are massive underdogs with Barca as short as 1.18 to win in 90 minutes but there is still some value to be had on the Asian Handicap betting market and on the Asian line Over/Unders. Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage can help you get large stakes on these markets and welcome winners.
This will be the Blaugrana’s 37th Copa del Rey final, only Real Madrid have been to more finals but trail both Barca and Bilbao with 19 wins. The Catalan giants lost to rivals Real in last years final 2-1 but last won the competition in 2012 against Saturday’s opponents at the Vicente Calderon Stadium beating the Basque’s 3-0.
Ernesto Valverde’s lost both fixtures in the league to Barca this season, conceding 7 times which now takes Los Cules record to W14 D5 L1 in their last 20 meetings against Bilbao. With Barca’s recent imperious form its no wonder they are as short as 1.06 to lift the trophy.
Since they lost to Bilbao’s Basque rivals Soceidad, they have lost just once in 21 games in all competitions, winning 18 and drawing once. That loss came against Bayern in Munich after a place in the UCL final was already in the bag.
Luis Enrique’s route to the final has been as straightforward as possible, winning all 8 matches, scoring a massive 31 goals along the way, an average of 3.87 goals a game. In contrast, Los Leones have batted their way to the final, winning just 4 of their 8 games. Their 2-0 away win over Espanyol in the 2nd leg of the semi’s prevented an all Catalan final. It’s reported 50,000 Basque’s will be making the journey to the Camp Nou to spoil Barca’s party in their own back yard.
Bilbao will be hoping Barca have bigger things on their mind with the Champions League final against Juventus in 7 days time. They’ll also be hoping they will be going into the match more hungry having not won any silverware since 1984 and will capitalise on the Catalans lack of interest in the competition. I don’t see that as being the case however, Luis Enrique is a very demanding coach and with the treble still on, this will mean as much to them as the Basque side.
There will be a great atmosphere at the Camp Nou and the travelling Bilbao fans will make this a very special occasion, unfortunately for them, Barcelona are going to be too strong and I’m expecting them to win comfortably. With the game being on their own turf, their impressive current form and the treble still on, I’m expecting Barca to put on another show.
Suarez is likely to return after missing the last 2 league games and with Messi and Neymar banging in goals for fun this season, Barcelona to cover -2 on the Asian Handicap is hard to turn down at 1.97.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Barcelona -2 @ 1.97
Prices correct at time of writing.
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