Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak, left, challenges Barcelona’s goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen during Spanish Super Cup semi final soccer match between Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Nuevo Arcangel stadium in Cordoba, Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Breton)
- The long-awaited conclusion to the 2019-20 Copa Del Rey final will finally take place on Saturday (3:30 pm ET), as Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad meet in Seville
- Sociedad’s path to the final included a shocking 4-3 win at Real Madrid in the quarterfinals; Bilbao’s journey went through Barcelona (1-0) at the same stage
- Get the latest odds, trends and best bets for Saturday’s final below
A lot has changed in the 13 months since Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao qualified for the 2019-20 Copa Del Rey final.
For Sociedad, gone are Martin Odegaard — returned to Real Madrid following his loan — and leading frontman Willian José, who departed on loan to England’s Wolves.
On the Bilbao side of the equation, the veteran trio of striker Aritz Aduriz (retired) and midfielders Mikel San Jose (Birmingham) and Beñat (Macarthur FC) are all long departed.
Hilariously, Bilbao has also qualified for the 2020-21 edition of the tournament’s final — on April 17 against Barcelona at the same La Cartuja stadium in Seville.
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad Odds
|Matchup||Spread||Moneyline at DraftKings||Total|
|Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad||ATH pk (+100) | RSO pk (-120)||ATH +185 | RSO +160 | DRAW +205||Ov 2 (-113) | Un 2 (-108)|
Odds taken April 1st.
Recent history has not been kind to Athletic Bilbao, the slight underdog on Saturday, which has dropped five of the last six Basque Derbies against its rivals from San Sebastian.
The series is a more even 10-5-7 (W-D-L) in favour of Sociedad dating back to 2007, though it is worth noting that Athletic is the only one of the two sides to lift a trophy (Supercopa, ’15 and ’20) in the past 15 years.
Athletic Bilbao: Honest and Mid Table
What you see is certainly what you get with Marcelino’s mid-table Athletic Bilbao team.
At 9-8-11, it is a side capable of both greatness — see the 3-2 Supercopa shock upset over Barcelona, or the 4-0 hammering of Cadiz in mid February — and long stretches of drab, draw-happy soccer (0-0 at Vigo, 1-1 vs Eibar).
While the Over 2.5 has failed to hit in Bilbao’s last two outings, consider that it has in four of the last six Basque Derbies — and in each of its last five games against top-six opposition.
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Real Sociedad: Consistently Inconsistent
It’s been a similar rollercoaster of a season for Real Sociedad, which flirted with title contention early in the year before a one-win-from-nine stretch in December torpedoed those ambitions.
The goals have dried up of late for Imanol’s La Real, with just three in the squad’s last five matches and an ugly 6-1 defeat at the hands of Barcelona not that far in the rearview mirror.
Beyond Saturday’s final, Sociedad face a challenging stretch of Bilbao, again, on Wed. followed by Valencia (A), Sevilla (H) and Vigo (A) — not an easy stretch of games for a team competing for European qualification.
Best Bets: Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad
While the Under 2.5 has been consistent in the recent form of both — and Sociedad scored a 1-0 win at Athletic back in late December — the value offered on the Over 2.5 is simply too good to pass up.
In terms of goal scorers on the Athletic side of the matchup, veteran Raul Garcia could be a play; what better than a 34 year-old club icon in a derby match? While his goal total is down this year (4 vs 15 last season), he will likely start and be a factor.
For Sociedad, striker Alexander Isak (+225) is certainly in play — though the Swedish frontman went scoreless in four starts during March, after finding the net in three straight weeks in February.
Pick: Over 2.5 (+160), Raul Garcia to Score (+290), Alexander Isak to Score (+225)
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Carlos Verde is a sports media professional, with writing featured in a number of outlets, including the Epoch Times, Ottawa Life Magazine and Where is Football. He also served as a broadcast commentator for the United Soccer League’s Ottawa Fury FC.