Athletic Club Draw Elche In The Copa Del Rey Round Of 32
Athletic cruised to victories over Intercity and Sestao River to book their place in the Copa del Rey Round of 32 but had to wait until Tuesday’s draw to find out their next opponents. The Basques were one of the last teams pulled and were matched with Elche who will host the single match later this month.
Interestingly, this will be the second time Athletic will travel to Estadio Martínez Valero after facing Intercity at Elche’s stadium in the first round of the tournament. The match will take place on either 21-22 January and will be firmly scheduled in the coming days.
Elche currently sit 7th in the Segunda table and are one of the candidates to compete for promotion this season. Apart from being an entertaining draw, Athletic and Elche have a wonderful relationship that runs much deeper than loan agreements. The two sides met in the 1969 Copa del Rey final, which Athletic won 1-0, and last year a commemorative event was held at San Mamés to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the final.
Athletic are confident that they have the quality to reach this year’s final and challenge for what would be the club’s 25th Copa del Rey title. For that to happen, the Zurigorri must now defeat Elche on the road to earn their place in the Round of 16 and Gaizka Garitano will be expected to field a strong lineup. Naturally, Athletic will be favored over a second division side but the cup has proven to be full of surprises.