Official: Barcelona discover their rivals for the Copa Del Ray quarter-finals

Date:

LAS ROZAS, SPAIN - JANUARY 31: Ilustration, balls for draw during the Draw 1/4 of Final of the Spanish Cup, Copa del Rey, celebrated at Ciudad del Futbol on January 31, 2020 in Las Rozas, Spain.
Photo by Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images

The game against Unionistas was the first step forward for FC Barcelona in the Copa Del Ray. They had previously disposed of Barbastro, but the clash in Salamanca was an even bigger one. However, Barcelona are safe for now in the King’s Cup, and head to the quarter-final stage.

Previously before the draw, there were seven possible opponents Barcelona could have potentially been drawn against. All of these opponents are fellow La Liga sides, as all lower-tier sides have already been eliminated. Thus, irrespective of who Barça got drawn against, the clash would be a tough one.

Now, there is official confirmation. The team that will face FC Barcelona in the Copa Del Ray quarter-finals is none other than Basque side Athletic Bilbao. Led by former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde, Bilbao is an exceptionally difficult team to beat.

This season, Barcelona have encountered Bilbao only once. The occasion took place in the first half of the ongoing La Liga campaign, and saw Barça barely manage to win and take away all three points. It took a heroic Marc Guiu cameo to ensure that victory went to La Blaugrana.

In terms of their position within the La Liga table, Bilbao currently sit at third place. They are one position above Barcelona. However, the Catalan giants do have a game in hand over their upcoming Copa Del Ray rivals in the Spanish first division.

When it comes to form, very few teams can match up to Athletic Bilbao at the moment. The last 14 games have gone by for the Basque side with them remaining unbeaten. Coincidentally, the last time they even tasted defeat came at the hands of Barcelona in October.

Since then, not even Girona or Atletico Madrid have been able to stop them in their tracks. Valverde’s side is almost unstoppable right now, and was one of the strongest potential opponents for Barcelona. However, no team worth their weight in gold can continue to hide behind easy encounters. It will be a true test for both Barcelona and Bilbao when they meet in the cup this month.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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