Spanish Cup Final: Trophy Number Two Vs. Saving the Season
Atletico de Madrid and Sevilla will play the Spanish Cup final on Wednesday, in a match that will mean trophy number two of the season for Atletico, or turning an average year into a positive one for Sevilla.
Several things will come into play tomorrow. On Sevilla's side, Alvarez's men will try to turn a season where they did not clinch the last Champions League spot until the 93rd minute of the last match into a year where there will be something major to celebrate.
Luis Fabiano, still injured, will not play. The Brazilian forward tried to motivate his team nevertheless, releasing a public letter to the press where he asked for the team to "win it for Antonio Puerta", the Sevilla player who died two years ago after a series of cardiac arrests in the middle of a match.
On the other hand, Sevilla will count on Alvaro Negredo, after the Spanish Federation agreed to forgive the one game ban from his red card in the last match of La Liga. A Cup final without Negredo and Fabiano would have been potentially catastrophic for Sevilla.
All odds seem to point at Kanoute starting tomorrow in place of Luis Fabiano. Even though the African player has not been in his top form this season, he has the experience needed in this type of game. Curiously enough, he scored in Sevilla's last Spanish Cup final in 2007.
Atletico, on the other hand, will be at full strength. Diego Forlan, the recent hero of the Europa League final against Fulham, and who amazingly enough has never scored against Sevilla, will look to lead the attack tandem with Sergio Aguero.
It seems as if Atletico has the upper hand in tomorrow's final; the Colchoneros have already fed the hunger for a trophy with the Europa League title. They will show up in the Camp Nou with no pressure whatsoever.
Atletico is maturing. Forlan and Aguero always seem to find the way to make an impact in important games. Reyes once again resembles the form he was in back in Sevilla times, and goalkeeper De Gea has gone from invisible for Quique Sanchez Flores to a continental champion and a very threatening challenger to Victor Valdes as a third goalkeeper in South Africa.
Sevilla might want the title a bit more than Atletico. After a year of changing coaches, frustrating losses, and an amazing end of the season that could have turned out tragic, a cup win would be the icing on the cake. No matter what happens, tomorrow's game promises to be an amazing fight. All-in for the Copa del Rey.
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