Levante and Athletic Bilbao will lock horns for the third time in as many weeks when they meet for the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final clash on Thursday at 8pm (UK time).
The first leg finished 1-1 at the San Mames, before these sides met again in La Liga on Friday, which also finished 1-1. Something has to give when they cross paths once more at the Ciutat de Valencia Stadium later this week, with Barcelona awaiting the winner in the final.
How to live stream Levante vs Athletic Bilbao online:
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Where to watch Levante vs Athletic Bilbao on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 1
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Levante 1-2 Athletic Bilbao
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Levante vs Athletic Bilbao build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
It’s been a pretty nondescript La Liga season for Levante and Athletic Bilbao, with both clubs neither in threat of relegation or really in with a chance of securing European football, sitting in ninth and 10th place respectively in the table. So, this contest presents a real opportunity for either club to transform what has been a pretty ordinary campaign into a potentially historic one.
Paco Lopez’s side have lost just once in their last 14 outings across all competitions and will be hoping to carry that form into this semi-final clash, while Bilbao have already beaten Levante in La Liga back in October (albeit under former coach Gaizka Garitano) and are the current Spanish Super Cup holders, so will not be easy to shake off for the hosts.
- Levante (vs Athletic Bilbao): Fernandez; Coke, Duarte, Rober; Son, Rochina, Vukcevic, Clerc; De Frutos, Morales, Roger.
- Athletic Bilbao (vs Athletic Bilbao): Simon; Capa, Nunez, Martinez*, Balenziaga; Berenguer, Vesga, Vencedor, Muniain; Garcia, Williams.
Levante are without the quartet of Jose Campana, Gonzalo Melero, Sergio Postigo and Nemanja Radoja, while Inigo Martinez is suspended for the visitors.
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Players to watch:
- Levante: After failing to provide an assist or a goal in his opening 10 La Liga appearances this season, Jorge de Frutos has come alive since the end of November and started 2021 like a house on fire. The 24-year-old has notched three goals and provided a club-high seven assists since the start of December. He has been the emblematic player of The Frogs’ recent unbeaten streak and will be a key component of Lopez’s attack if they are to eliminate Bilbao and book a ticket in the final. Levante are one of only two clubs to boast two or more players who have netted double digits in La Liga this season, so De Frutos has plenty of firepower to match his ‘playmaker’ skills.
- Athletic Bilbao: Having hailed from the Basque club’s fruitful academy over a decade ago, Iker Muniain has been a mainstay in their XI ever since, but he is yet to win a trophy of significant esteem. They clinched the Spanish Super Cup this term, which in itself is no mean feat, but Muniain will no doubt want to solidify his Bilbao legacy with a major honour. Twice has he reached the Copa del Rey final for the club, and twice have Barcelona thwarted his side. He will be relishing a potential third showdown with the Catalan giants in the showpiece of this competition, but first he has an ominous duel with Levante, in a tie that is very much on a knife edge. If anyone can swing this semi-final in their club’s favour, then it’s Muniain and his palette of skill, invention and unpredictability.
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