The 2019-20 Copa del Rey final takes center stage as Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad face off at the Estadio de La Cartuja in Seville on Saturday.
The madness of El Derbi Vasco gets amplified further with the 2019-20 Copa del Rey trophy at stake.
Perhaps the quirkiest Copa del Rey final ever, this edition was delayed to accommodate fans but will sadly be played in an empty stadium.
The winner will only hold the title for a few weeks, with the 2020-21 Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao set to take place on 17 April.
Athletic Bilbao come into this game on the back of two draws against Celta Vigo and Eibar ahead of the international break.
Yet, form will go out of the window as they have a chance to end a 36-year wait for the Copa del Rey title. Los Leones last won silverware fairly recently, winning the 2020-21 Supercopa de España.
Real Sociedad last won a trophy in the 1986-87 season, which also happened to be the Copa del Rey title.
Their preparations for ending their 34-year trophy drought could not have gone worse. La Real lost 0-1 away to Granada before suffering a 1-6 thrashing at the hands of Barcelona at the Anoeta.
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad Head-to-Head
Of the last 10 Basque derbies to take place, Real Sociedad have won five, with Athletic Bilbao winning four and drawing one.
La Real have won the previous two meetings, defeating Athletic Club at San Mames earlier this season by a 1-0 scoreline.
Athletic Bilbao form guide in La Liga: D-D-L-W-D
Real Sociedad form guide in La Liga: L-L-W-D-W
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad Team News
Marcelino has an almost fully-fit squad to choose from, although Unai Simon and Inigo Martinez may be fatigued from their international commitments with Spain.
Midfielder Oier Zarraga underwent knee surgery and will miss the final.
Injuries: Oier Zarraga
Imanol Aguacil oversaw Mikel Merino and Miguel Angel Moya taking part in training, which should ensure they are fit for the final. Mikel Oyarzabal and Alexander Isak were partially rested in their international breaks and may start right from the off.
Aihen Munoz, Aritz Elustondo, Igor Zubeldia and Jon Gurudi all recovered during the international break and featured multiple times during training.
Injuries: Luca Sangalli
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad Predicted Lineups
Athletic Bilbao Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Unai Simon (GK); Oscar de Marcos, Yeray Alvarez, Inigo Martinez, Yuri Berchiche; Unai Lopez, Mikel Vesga; Iker Muniain, Raul Garcia, Alex Berenguer; Inaki Williams
Real Sociedad Predicted XI (4-3-3): Alex Remiro (GK); Andoni Gorosabel, Aritz Elustondo, Robin Le Normand, Nacho Monreal; Mikel Merino, Asier Illarramendi, David Silva; Cristian Portu, Alexander Isak, Mikel Oyarzabal
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad Prediction
One would consider Real Sociedad favorites for this game given they are 10 points clear of Athletic Bilbao in La Liga. However, Los Leones are a different beast in cup competitions and can beat anyone on their day. They proved this in the Supercopa earlier this season.
David Silva will be crucial to La Real's fortunes while Inaki Williams will no doubt give it his all for Bilbao. We expect a cracking final that could go to extra time, with Athletic nicking it right at the end.
Prediction: Athletic Bilbao 3-2 Real Sociedad (A.E.T)