Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona: Live Stream, Start Time and More for Copa Del Rey

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Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona: Live Stream, Start Time and More for Copa Del Rey
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Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao face off in the 108th Copa del Rey.

Barcelona FC face Athletic Bilbao in the 108th Coppa del Rey final on Friday at the Vincente Calderon Stadium in Madrid.

In many aspects, Bilbao and Barcelona have a lot in common this season and the final is sure to be a pleasing affair for fans and neutrals.

Each club have a unique, entertaining style of football that can give the opposition headaches. Most people are familiar with Barcelona's traditional tiki taka, but Bilbao's pressing style has given the opposition fits throughout the season.

Each club's season has also been marred by disappointment both domestically and in Europe.

Barca were dethroned as La Liga champions this season by Real Madrid. The club were also knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea at the semifinal stage.

Bilbao never really got going in the league this season, finishing 10th. However, Marcelo Biesla's side exerted a lot of energy during their Europa League campaign.

The Basque club reached the final only to be brushed aside by Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid in Romania. 

The Copa del Rey final represents a chance for both teams to end the season on a positive note and start building for next season.

 

Where: Vicente Calderon Stadium, Madrid, Spain

When: Friday, May 25, 4:00 p.m. EST

Who will win the Copa del Rey?

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Live stream: ESPN

 

Barcelona's Road to the Final

Round of 32: L'Hospitalet 10-0 agg.

Round of 16 Osasuna 6-1 agg.

QF: Real Madrid 4-3 agg.

SF: Valenica 3-1 agg.

Barcelona took the harder of the two paths to reach the final. A Clasico showdown against Real Madrid was another tightly contested affair. Barcelona overcame a nervy draw against Valencia in the first leg of the semifinal before cruising past Los Che at the Nou Camp.

 

Bilbao's Road to the Final

Round of 32: Real Ovideo 2-0 agg.

Round of 16: Albacete 4-0 agg.

QF: Mallorca 3-0 agg.

SF: Mirandes 8-3 agg.

Bilbao were able to cruise to the final with Mallorca being the only top-flight team they encountered along the way. Spanish third division side Mirandes did put up a fight in the first leg of the semifinal. Bilbao could only muster a 2-1 victory away from home, but recovered in the second leg to record a 6-2 victory.

 

Copa del Rey Kings

Bilbao and Barcelona are the two sides with the most cup wins. Barca have won the Copa del Rey an incredible 25 times in the club's history. Bilbao are no slouches either. Los Leones have taken home the cup 23 times. 

 

We've Been Here Before

The two sides met in the Copa del Rey final in 2009, where Barcelona proved to be too strong for Bilbao.

Gaizka Toquero got Bilbao off to a flying start, scoring in the eighth minute, but Barcelona would dominate the match from there on. Yaya Toure opened the scoring in the first half. Second-half goals from Lionel Messi, Bojan and Xavi ensured a comfortable victory for Pep Guardiola on company.

Last season saw another meeting between the two, but this time it was in the round of 16. Barcelona once again emerged victorious, advancing on away goals after a 1-1 draw at San Memes.

 

We've Been Here Before Part 2

It has been advantage Barcelona in the two La Liga meetings between the clubs this season. A 2-2 draw in the Basque country saw Barca escape with a point with an injury-time equalizer from Messi.

The return fixture at the Camp Nou was not as competitive. Bilbao had no answer for Messi, who set up the first goal and scored the second, as Barca ran out 2-0 winners.

 

Predictions

Recent history would suggest Barcelona are the smart pick, but Bilbao have a lot more to play for. The club desperately need European football to try and hold onto its best players and the only way for that to happen is winning the Copa del Rey.

Bilbao are a handful for any team and will not be intimidated by Barca. The Basque club will need some luck, but can pull off the upset in the final.

Los Leones to take the cup up north after win decided by penalty kicks.   


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