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Copa del Rey

  • May 25, 2012
  • • 4:00 PM
  • • Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid
  • Referee: David Fernandez Borbalan
  • • Attendance: 54850
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Copa del Rey Preview: Athletic Bilbao - Barcelona

Copa del Rey Preview: Athletic Bilbao - Barcelona

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The Blaugrana are out to salvage a disappointing end to their season by lifting the Copa del Rey, while the Basques look to rebound from their bitter defeat in the Europa League.

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

ATHLETIC BILBAO

Iraizoz
Iraola, Martinez, Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe
De Marcos, Iturraspe, Herrera
Susaeta, Llorente, Muniain
BARCELONA

Pinto
Montoya, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Fabregas, Messi, Alexis

Athletic Bilbao has no injury concerns heading into Friday's cup final with Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon.

Midfielder Ander Iturraspe is expected to start despite missing training earlier in the week with a virus.

Barca boss Pep Guardiola will have to make a number of changes in defense with Dani Alves, Carles Puyol, Eric Abidal and Andreu Fontas all out. Striker David Villa will not recover from his broken leg in time.

Young defender Martin Montoya should fill in for Dani Alves at right back, with Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano taking the center back slots.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Athletic Bilbao is on a five-game winless streak in all competitions and has failed to register on the scoresheet in all of those matches.
  • The Basque side is the second-most successful club in Copa del Rey history with 23 triumphs, but has not tasted cup success since 1984.
  • The San Mames outfit has contested six previous Copa finals against Barcelona, with the Catalans notching four wins to Athletic's two.
  • Los Ledones, who finished 10th in La Liga, have already secured at least a qualifying-round spot in the Europa League. If they win the Copa, they will go straight into the group stage.
  • Barcelona is on a five-game unbeaten run in all competitions (W3, D2).
  • The Blaugrana are the most successful side in Copa del Rey history with 25 wins.
  • The Catalans beat their final opponents 2-0 at home in the league in April and drew 2-2 at San Mames last November.
  • A Barca victory will hand Pep Guardiola a 14th title from his four-year spell in charge of the club.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1IraizozGoalkeeper
3AurtenetxeDefender
32Borja EkizaDefender
35AmorebietaDefender
15Andoni IraolaDefender
8Javi MartínezMidfielder
14SusaetaMidfielder
10Óscar De MarcosMidfielder
11Ibai GómezStriker
14Fernando Llorente Striker
19MuniainStriker
13RaúlGoalkeeper
6San JoséDefender
21Ander HerreraMidfielder
18Carlos GurpeguiMidfielder
26Igor Martínez CaserasMidfielder
17Íñigo PérezMidfielder
2ToqueroStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
21AdrianoDefender
2MontoyaDefender
3PiquéDefender
5BusquetsMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
6XaviMidfielder
9Alexis SánchezStriker
10Lionel MessiStriker
7PedroStriker
12Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
15BartraDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
20Ibrahim AfellayMidfielder
-Seydou KeitaMidfielder
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
37TelloStriker

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From the web