Copa del Rey: Athletic Bilbao vs Mallorca Preview

Following a monumental 3-0 (4-0 on aggregate) victory against Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals, Athletic Bilbao will clash with Mallorca in the final of the Copa del Rey on 6 April at 22:00. With Bilbao currently fifth on the La Liga standings, they are firmly in the battle for a spot in the UEFA Champions League. That being said, their imperious cup form has seen them knock out Spanish heavyweights including Barcelona and Atletico Madrid en route to the final against relegation-threatened Mallorca.

To win 90min

Ath. Bilbao 15/20

Draw 43/20
Mallorca 37/10

Athletic Club 

Ernesto Valverde’s side fell to a 2-nil league defeat away to Real Madrid last time out. The performance was not up to scratch, with Los Leones struggling to produce much of an attacking threat throughout the encounter. Despite that, their scintillating cup form has seen them knock out top four hopefuls Barca and Atleti in some fashion.

Across their six tournament appearances, the Basque Country outfit has kept five clean sheets, only shipping two goals in their clash with the Xavi’s Blaugrana. Julen Agirrezabala has been a revelation for them between the sticks and is expected to start ahead of the more experienced Unai Simon in this one. The first-choice shot-stopper has kept a league-high fifteen clean sheets across his twenty-nine appearances, compared to Agirrezabala’s five in six cup appearances. Safe to say, the Bilbao nets are in safe hands.

Looking ahead to the final, the Williams brothers could prove the difference once again. In the second-leg semi-final clash at San Mames, Inaki fired home an exquisite volley after his younger sibling Nico picked him out with a cross. Inaki Williams returned the favour before the halftime whistle in that one, getting to the byline before cutting back into the danger area, where Nico was waiting to finish from close range. It was the dynamic duo who were at it again in the quarterfinals. The pair stood up and added their name to the score sheet at the end of each half of extra time as they went toe-to-toe with Barca for two hours.


Abdon Prats is having a tournament to remember and has fired Mallorca into the finals. The thirty-one-year-old currently tops the Cope del Rey scoring charts, with six goals to his name. He has been used as the preferred option upfront by Javier Aguirre in cup competition and the results are there to see.

If league form is anything to go by, Mallorca will barely land a punch on the day. The troubled outfit currently sits just six points above the drop and with eight games to go, they are not out of the woods. Nevertheless, they have fought tooth and nail to reach their first Copa del Rey final in 20 years.

Against Real Sociedad in the semi-final stage, Mallorca failed to register a single shot on target during the first leg, with the tie ending goalless. The second leg away to La Real went down to a penalty shootout, with Mallorca edging their opponents 5-4 in the football lottery. Indeed, with all five of theirs finding their way to the back of the net, I expect them to take full advantage if they have a spot-kick in this one …

Verdict: Athletic Club at 15/20

With Mallorca seeking only the second trophy in their 107-year history, I expect them to leave everything on the pitch. Further motivation will be provided by their dismal showing in the league and they have something to play for here. Whilst they may have a certain level of unpredictability, I can’t see them getting the better of Athletic Club on the day.

Written by Desh Parthab