01/05/2022 at 20:00 CET
Athletic Club begins this Thursday in Jaén, against Atlético Mancha Real, the only Second RFEF team that remains in competition, a new adventure in its fetish competition, a Cup that it has won 23 times -24, according to its accounts- and in which he chains two lost endings.
With the illusion of reaching a third consecutive final, Athletic starts the Copa del Rey in the round of 32 and in friendly territory, since in the province of Jaén it has 10 of the 473 official clubs that it has throughout the world. Among them, the emblematic one of Bailén, one of the most outstanding and active of all.
That cup debut comes to Athletic after a good start to the year with a clear victory at El Sadar against Osasuna (1-3) and a tight schedule ahead that has decided to Marcelino García Toral, who will be able to sit on the bench after overcoming the positive for covid last week, to give rest to regular holders such as Unai Simón, Yeray Álvarez, Óscar de Marcos and Raúl García.
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On the other hand, he recovers the central Daniel Vivian, after more than two months injured, and the players who also tested positive last week: Oier Zarraga, Unai Núñez, Íñigo Lekue and Raúl García.
These last four point to headlines in an eleven that, despite the rest of regulars, is presumed to be guarantees.
Thus, Julen Agirrezabala is expected, the owner when Simón is not there, under the sticks; and perhaps the entry of less common players such as Alex Petxarroman and the youthful Nico Serrano along with the recovered Núñez, Lekue, Zarraga and Raúl in an eleven, in principle, without key players in attack such as Iker Muniain, Iñaki Williams and Oihan Sancet, the latter author of the hat trick that brought down Osasuna.
The one who could be starting is Íñigo Martínez, who, between two expulsions and one positive for covid, missed several games at the end of the year.
For the double pivot, Marcelino could choose Mikel Vesga and Zarraga from the beginning, which would also give Dani García rest, another of the fixed ones who accumulates many matches in a row and is shaping up to be key for the rest of January that awaits him. an Athletic, in any case, animated and in good dynamics to start in its fetish tournament, the Cup.
Atlético Mancha Real, for its part, wants to prolong its cup-butler dream by defeating one of the dominating teams in the competition, the second with the most titles behind Barcelona.
The Andalusian team, from the Second RFEF, the only remaining in this category, already eliminated the International Doge of Madrid in the first round by winning 2-1 and in the second they gave the surprise by defeating Granada 1-0 in a crowded Estadio de La Juventud, with a goal from forward José Enrique.
With the support of nearly 4,000 fans, although there are still tickets to be sold, Pedro Bolaños’ men want to be faithful to their style to surprise a Bilbao team that will debut in the tournament by being one of the four that will compete in the Super Cup next week. of Spain along with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid, his rival in the semifinals on January 13.
Atlético Mancha Real has the entire squad and only the injured Biscayan midfielder Txaber is injured. Although the player born in Amorebieta, has only participated in seventeen minutes in league games.
Royal Stain: Lopito; Viaña, Raúl Pérez, Del Amo, Nando; Óscar Quesada, Juanma, Rafilla, Juanca, Urko Arroyo; and José Enrique.
Athletic: Agirrezabala: Petxarroman, Núñez, Íñigo Martínez, Lekue; Nico Williams, Zarraga, Vesga, Berrenguer; Serrano and Raúl García.
Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera (Valencian).