The Cup hardens for Barça and Real Sociedad
The 'culés', to put an end to the 9 consecutive wins of the San Sebastian
BARCELONA, 24 Ene. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Copa del Rey will no longer be an affordable path for Real Sociedad and, above all, FC Barcelona when both teams, winners of the competition, meet this Wednesday at the Spotify Camp Nou (9:00 p.m.) in a tough match for the same for 'culés' and 'txuri-urdines'.
Everything to a letter. It is the last single-match tie and the draw wanted it to be played at the Blaugrana fiefdom, with no margin of error for the 'kings' of the competition or for some 'txuri-urdines' who want to repeat the success experienced in the 2020 edition, when they won the derby against Athletic Club.
Barça is measured for the first time in this tournament from the KO to a Primera. Real Sociedad already did it in the round of 16 against RCD Mallorca, which they won by the minimum. So the blaugranas come up against the 'real' Cup against Real, which will be a tough stumbling block given their great run of results.
There are already nine games that Imanol Alguacil's men count for victories. Nine. And they want it to be ten. Between LaLiga Santander and this Cup, with the World Cup 'break' in between, the 'txuri-urdines' beat Sevilla, Cazalegas, Coria, Osasuna, Logroñés, Almería, Athletic Club, Mallorca and Rayo Vallecano.
The blaugrana do not want to be the next team on that list and, with the Camp Nou on their side, they hope to break that great streak to extend theirs; which is not bad either. Xavi Hernández's men won the Super Cup against Real Madrid and between the League and the Cup they have four consecutive victories.
Previously, until reaching these quarterfinals, the Catalans accounted for AD Ceuta FC (0-5) and CF Intercity (3-4), both from the 1st RFEF. And the first duel against a LaLiga rival will not be against just anyone, since Real is third, 6 points behind Barça, who leads the table and with a game to recover from the San Sebastian team.
The last precedent in the Cup was in the quarterfinals, then a round trip, in the 2016/17 season, with a double win for the Blaugrana (0-1 and 5-2). Before, in 2013/14, they met in the 'semis' with victory for the 'culés' (2-0 in Barcelona and 1-1 in Donostia). The last San Sebastian victory was in 1980, in the round of 16. In Barcelona and among all competitions, Real hasn't won since 1991. That is a streak to break.
The Royal Society, in the words of Imanol, arrives without excuses. But he arrives without Mikel Merino and without David Silva, dropped at the last minute due to some discomfort in the soleus. Without the 'wizard' and without Merino, Real will finally try to win in Barcelona and move on to the semifinals of the cup tournament.
The rest, including one more shot Mikel Oyarzabal, will have to pull the car. Like Alexander Sorloth, who scored the weekend in the win against Rayo Vallecano (0-2), or a Robert Navarro who is on a roll in the Cup. His was the goal that gave the pass to this round, against Mallorca.
At Barça they are all fine. Also Andreas Christensen, who had discomfort but trained normally and is on a list with Robert Lewandowski and Ferran Torres, rested and fresh after only being able to play the Cup due to the sanction in LaLiga Santander. Both point to ownership.
But Xavi will have a lot to choose from, also in a goal where Iñaki Peña - he played the two previous rounds - could repeat or make room for the usual Marc-André Ter Stegen. In defence, Jordi Alba could throw gallons to dominate the left-back, in the midfield Frenkie De Jong could also be the untouchable regular that he should be, and up front Lewandowski will try to continue his idyll with the goal so that Barça is closer to passing round.
FC BARCELONA: Iñaki Peña; Koundé, Araújo, Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba; De Jong, Pedri, Gavi; Dembele, Lewandowski and Ferran Torres.
REAL SOCIEDAD: Álex Remiro; Elustondo, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Aihen Muñoz; Brais Méndez, Zubimendi, Pablo Marín; Robert Navarro; Sorloth and Kubo.
--REFEREE: Gil Manzano (C. Extremadura).
-- STADIUM: Camp Nou.
--TIME: 9:00 p.m./Movistar.