Athletic Club vs RCD Mallorca: Preview & Prediction

Athletic Club and RCD Mallorca are all set to square up against each other at Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final.

Athletic Club will look to make it 24 Copa del Rey titles when they face RCD Mallorca, who won it once back in 2003. They have both had an incredible run in the tournament and are just 90 minutes away from lifting the silverware.

Athletic Club are the second most successful team in the competition behind Barcelona having won it 23 times. But, they have not lifted the silverware since 1984 and have suffered a defeat in their last six finals of the competition.

Los Leones have made it this far by defeating Barcelona in the quarter-finals and Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals. Having come out on top against both the giants, they will be confident of getting it done against Mallorca.

The visitors have only won the Copa del Rey once in their entire history. They lifted the silverware back in 2003 by defeating Recreativo de Huelva. This will be their fourth appearance in the final of the competition with the other two coming before they triumphed in 2003.

They have not won a title in the last 21 years, and it will be a special achievement if they get over the line against Athletic Club. Mallorca have made it this far in the competition by defeating Girona in the quarter-finals and Real Sociedad in the semi-finals.

They might not have taken down giants on their way to the final but the thought of creating history will drive them. Meanwhile, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.

Team News & Tactics

Athletic Club

Yeray Alvarez’s availability is doubtful while people at the club are hoping Nico Williams who is struggling with a muscular injury is fit in time for this fixture. A late call will be taken on his involvement in this fixture.

Athletic Club will stick to the 4-2-3-1 formation, where Julen Agirrezabala will be in goal. While Unai Simon is the preferred number one, they have stuck with Agirrezabala for cup fixtures. Oscar de Marcos and Inigo Lekue will start out wide as the full-backs. In the heart of the defence, they will have Dani Vivian pair up with Aitor Paredes.

The back four will look for a clean sheet and they will have the support of Benat Prados Diaz and Mikel Vesga. The duo will feature as the double pivot in the centre of the park, and they will look to dictate the pace of the game.

Nico Williams and Inaki Williams will feature on the flanks. They will provide width to their attacks, while Oihan Sancet will be the attacking in behind striker Gorka Guruzeta. If Nico doesn’t get the green light, Alex Berenguer will take his place in the starting XI.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Agirrezabala; De Marcos, Vivian, Paredes, Lekue; Prados, Vesga; I Williams, Sancet, N Williams; Guruzeta

Athletic Club vs RCD Mallorca Predicted XI

RCD Mallorca

Mallorca will be without the services of Omar Mascarell, while the availability of Martin Valjent is a major doubt. They will go ahead with the 3-5-2 formation, where Dominik Greif will be in goal as he has been their preferred choice in cup games.

The back three will be made up of Matija Nastasic, Jose Manuel Copete and Martin Valjent. The trio will look to keep the opposition forwards quiet and will have the support of Giovanni Gonzalez and Toni Lato who will feature as the wing-backs.

They will look to join the attack whenever possible, but the priority will be to keep the opposition wingers in check. In the centre of the park, Samu Costa will start alongside Dani Rodriguez and Sergi Darder. They will look to ensure the opposition midfielders do not end up dominating the proceedings. In attack, Vedat Muriqi will start alongside Cyle Larin.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Greif; Copete, Nastasic, Raillo; Gonzalez, Samu, Darder, D Rodriguez, Lato; Muriqi, Larin

Key Stats

  • Athletic Club have won 33 out of the 69 meetings between the two teams.
  • Only one out of Mallorca’s six wins in the league have come away from home.
  • Athletic have lost only one out of their last 14 games against Mallorca.
  • Ernesto Valverde’s men have scored the most goals in the competition (18).
  • Athletic Club have the second-best defensive record in the league this season.

Player to Watch

Oihan Sancet

Embed from Getty Images

Sancet has been a consistent performer for Athletic Club throughout the ongoing season. He might not have crazy numbers but he has stepped in when the teams needed him the most. He has featured in a total of 34 matches and has contributed towards 10 goals. He will look to add to it when he takes the field in this final.


Athletic Club 3-2 RCD Mallorca

Athletic Club and RCD Mallorca have done incredibly well to reach this far in the competition, and they are just 90 minutes away from the title. While Mallorca will surely give it their all, they do not have as much quality in their ranks as compared to Athletic. And, the fact that they have defeated Barcelona and Atletico Madrid on their way to the final gives them the edge here. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-2 win for Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey final.

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