Copa del Rey semifinal second between Levante and Athletic Club set for stalemate

    Levante UD vs Athletic Bilbao Preview 04/03/2021

    04 Mar 2021 | Copa del Rey | Preview
    Copa del Rey semifinal second between Levante and Athletic Club set for stalemate

    Levante and Athletic Club finished 1-1 in their Copa del Rey semifinal first leg. Paco Lopez’s team go into the second leg with an away goal, giving them a slim advantage against Athletic Club.

    The first leg was a close run affair with Levante’s Gonzalo Melero opening the scoring in the 26th minute. The Lions’ Inigo Martinez fired back for Athletic Club in the 58th minute to give the team a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

    Thursday night’s game will be the fourth match between Levante and Athletic Club this season in all competitions. Marcelino’s Lions won at San Mames in La Liga 2-0. However, the last two matches in the cup and league finished in 1-1 draws.

    Last weekend, the clubs met in La Liga play with the game finishing in another close affair. Levante’s 33rd-minute penalty was cancelled out by an Athletic Club penalty from Raul Garcia. Expect the second leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal being another close fixture.

    Lopez’s Levante have not defeated Athletic Club in all competitions in their last six matches. Although Levante are scoring goals and taking early leads versus the Lions, they have not been able to hold on for victories.

    Levante have the advantage due to the away goals rule, but a goal for Athletic Club will cancel out their slim edge. Athletic Club could play in back-to-back Copa del Rey Finals if they win on Thursday night.

    The Lions qualified for the 2020 edition of the final which was postponed and will be played in April against Real Sociedad. The 2021 final edition will be played in May or June, which means Athletic Club could play in back-to-back finals in consecutive months.

    Marcelino will be without first leg goalscorer Martinez after he was sent off against Levante last weekend. Otherwise, the manager has a full strength squad to select from.

    Lopez has several players on his injury list. The good news is that defender Ruben Vezo is likely to return to the team. Enis Bardhi, Sergio Postigo, Nemanja Radoja, and Jose Campana are all doubts for the game through injury.

    Melero, the man who scored Levante’s goal in the first leg, could return from a hamstring strain that has had him sidelined. Lopez will certainly be more affected by injuries. He will have top scorers Roger and Morales. They have combined for 21 La Liga goals.

    The semifinal second leg should end with another stalemate. Levante’s inability to defeat Athletic Club in 90 minutes should continue as both teams find the back of the net and under 2.5 goals are scored.

    Home team
    Away team
    Probability %
    Correct score
    Avg. goals
    Weather conditions
    1 - 1
    3.74 3.50 2.04 1 -1 -1
    1 - 1(1 - 1)
    - - -