Preview, stats, analysis: ATHLETIC BILBAO VS FC BARCELONA
All the information you need on how and when to watch the 2021 Copa del Rey final between Athletic Club and Barcelona.
Athletic Club and Barcelona square off in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday at the Estadio de La Cartuja in Sevilla in what will be a repeat of January’s Spanish Super Cup final.
Barcelona will look to secure their first title under coach Ronald Koeman as speculation has intensified regarding his future in the run up to the final.
In the pre-game press conference, Koeman was notably frustrated by reporters’ questioning the viability of his position should he fail to win the Copa final, brandishing such talk as “a little bit strange.”
“We had a run of 19 games without losing, we lose one match and I need to talk about my future. Maybe I need to accept this, but I don’t agree. You have to do your job and talk to people in the club. I have one more year of my contract,” he said.
“I know before the game what will happen if we win and if we don’t win. I have to accept it. I took this job as a coach and I know there’s a big pressure and I can handle that. Sometimes it’s a little bit strange.”
Barça are chasing their sixth Copa title in 10 years with their last trophy coming after a 5-0 rout of Sevilla in 2018. They lost the final 2-1 to Valencia the following season in 2019 and so will be eager to rectify that disappointing last appearance when they meet Athletic on Saturday.
Athletic have lost their last five Copa finals
The winners of the inaugural trophy in 1903, Athletic have won the second highest number of Copa titles (23) behind Barcelona (30) and ahead of Real Madrid (19), although they have not won the competition since 1984. Since then they have lost all five of their final appearances, the last of which came last season, where they were defeated by 1-0 Real Sociedad.
Athletic will start the game full of confidence after having beaten Barça in the final of the four-club Spanish Super Cup in January (3-2). Nevertheless Barcelona will be firm favorites to win the tie and secure their 31st first Copa del Rey title under the leadership of captain Lionel Messi.
What time does the Athletic-Barcelona game kick off?
The Copa del Rey 2021 final between Athletic Club and Barcelona will kick off at the Estadio de La Cartuja in Seville, Spain on Saturday, 17 April, 2021, kicking off at 15.30 ET (local time 21:30 CET). That’s 12:30 PT and 20.30 GMT.