Levante host Athletic Bilbao on Thursday in the Copa del Rey semifinal second leg. The first leg of the semifinal finished 1-1 and Levante have the advantage heading into the game thanks to the away goals rule. Athletic Bilbao go into the game knowing they must score a goal to have any chance of going through to the final.
If Marcelino’s team do qualify for the final, they will play in back-to-back Copa del Rey Finals. Of course, the 2020 edition of the final was not played due to COVID-19. So, the 2020 final will be played between Athletic Club and Real Sociedad in early April. Meanwhile, the 2021 edition of the final will take place a month (tentatively) later.
Levante head into the second leg of the semifinal in excellent form. They are unbeaten in three straight La Liga matches drawing two and winning once. Athletic Bilbao are also in good form and four-matches unbeaten. They drew three and won once during that timeframe.
There is very little between these teams and that narrow gap is showing in the league. Just two points separate them in the table as Levante are ninth and Athletic Bilbao 10th. Although league form does not always translate over to cup competition, it may very well do so this week.
Levante vs Athletic Bilbao Betting Odds
The club that progresses to the final of the Copa del Rey will face off with either Barcelona or Sevilla. The latter lead the tie going into the second leg on Wednesday by 2-0 scoreline. Athletic Bilbao are favourite to win the match on Thursday night against Levante according to leading sportsbooks. They are at odds of 11/8 to win the match.
The Lions are also favourite to qualify for the final at odds of 7/10. Despite being favourite, Athletic Bilbao are a goal down thanks to the away goal rule. A goal for Athletic Bilbao on Thursday will erase the edge Levante have going into the second leg.
Levante are at odds of 11/5 to win against Athletic Bilbao to win at full-time. The teams have met three times in all competitions this season with Athletic Bilbao claiming a win and two draws versus the Frogs. The teams are at odds of 27/10 to draw at full-time, which is the result we have seen in the last two fixtures between Levante and Athletic Bilbao.
Athletic Bilbao are not great on the road. They have an away record of 4W-5D-6L in all competitions, scoring 19 goals and conceding 20. Paco Lopez’s Levante have a home record 4W-8D-2L. While they may not win this week in the second leg, Levante could get a draw.
Levante vs Athletic Bilbao Team News
Marcelino has no new injury issues going into the second leg of the semifinal. Dani Garcia and Unai Lopez are both set to return for Athletic Bilbao this week. Inigo Martinez was sent off when these teams played last weekend in La Liga. He is set to miss the match and Marcelino will need to play in central defence. Martinez tallied Athletic Club’s only goal of the Copa del Rey semifinal first leg.
Inaki Williams remains a top player for the Lions. Although he doesn’t score a lot of goals, he has been a major presence for the team since Marcelino took over the reins.
Lopez is set to have defender Ruben Vezo back from a red card ban. Lopez could be without the likes Enis Bardhi, Sergio Postigo, Nemanja Radoja, and Jose Campana. Gonzalo Melero could return to the side for the game after suffering a hamstring injury. Melero scored Levante’s goal in the first leg.
Morales and Roger lead Levante in goals with 21 combined in La Liga. Athletic Bilbao need to focus on stopping the two forwards. Levante’s rising star Jorge de Frutas is being tracked by Southampton and could be sold for a sizeable profit this summer.
Levante vs Athletic Bilbao Prediction
Both teams to score: YES @ 17/20 - BET NOW
Eight of the last 10 games between Levante and Athletic Bilbao finished with both teams scoring goals. Thursday night’s semifinal second leg is likely to see both teams score as Athletic Bilbao are chasing the game. The Lions have to score to have any hope of going through to the next round of the competition. Levante will need to go out and score goals if they concede one to Athletic Bilbao. This match has the potential to see goals.
Over 2.5 goals scored @21/20 - BET NOW
Seven of the last 10 games between Levante and Athletico Bilbao finished with over 2.5 goals tallied. The Frogs average 1.55 goals in all competitions while Athletic Bilbao average 1.43 goals per match in all competitions. There is a potential for goals in the semifinal second leg and defence could be out the window.
Inaki Williams to score anytime @ 3/1 - BET NOW
Inaki Williams continues to be the player Athletic Bilbao want to build the team around. He has scored five goals this season and tallied five assists in La Liga play. He has seven goals and six assists in all competitions. Athletic Bilbao will look to him to lead them in the final third in the second leg of the semifinal.
Athletic Bilbao have already tasted silverware this season by winning the Supercopa de Espana. They are hungry for more and are turning into a cup team in Spain. Athletic Bilbao will play in the originally postponed 2020 edition of the Copa del Rey Final in April and could play in the 2021 edition of the final after that.
Levante could make a massive mark on Spanish football by qualifying for the Copa del Rey. The Frogs have never won the Copa del Rey and reaching the final would be a massive achievement. They have the edge thanks to the away goals rule. A goal for Athletic Club changes the entire make-up of the fixture, however. Can Levante hold on and progress to the final?
Levante vs Athletic Bilbao Tips
1. Both teams to score: YES @ 17/20
2. Over 2.5 goals scored @21/20
3. Inaki Williams to score anytime @ 3/1
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