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San Mamés hosts the third Cup tie in 21 days. After dispatching Barcelona and Madrid, he frames a rival almost as remarkable as these two colossi. This time it is not a single delivery, but half of a round trip. For Athletic it is a routine to reach finals these two years (it has been four between Cup and Super Cup), so their confidence is through the roof. Therein lies the challenge for Valencia: to be the first to end this streak of 15 consecutive qualifiers won by the lions. Bordalás trying to embitter Marcelino. Old enemies face to face once again (follow the match live on As.com).

The new year has brought nothing but ecstasy for Athletic, removing the final of the Super Cup. Accumulate seven wins, one draw and only one loss in nine games played. And in the Cup, all brilliant successes, against Mancha Real, Barcelona and Madrid. Before these last two, San Mamés lived magical nights that he tries to reproduce today.

The penultimate stop towards the final in Seville’s La Cartuja is therefore very exciting. The team that is fifth in the winners of the tournament, so in this time La Catedral has opened its doors to four of the top five teams in the KO tournament. Between Athletic (24), second in the ranking, and Valencia (8) they add 32 Cup titles and 57 finals (40 and 17). It is not just another game for Marcelino, who is looking for the fourth Cup final followed by him. The first of his was won with his beloved Valencia, which he tries to cross out between today and the return of March.

The Careñes coach has disarmed all the rivals with his organized, intense and vertical football, supported by the pressure and the arrivals with many people in the rival area after stealing. A gale that demands almost superhuman efforts, hence on Monday he gave rest in the League against Espanyol to almost all of his starting eleven. He only kept three of his fundamental pieces from the beginning: Íñigo Martínez and the ‘Garcías’, Dani and Raúl.

Bordalás rotated Soler, Guedes and Duro and has Diakhaby and Alderete ready. His problem lies in Guillamón’s nose, which broke it and left him without 6. Ilaix and Foulquier, solution.

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