((Quarter-final>>WATCH!)) Barça vs Athletic Bilbao Live Free Online Broadcast 24 January 2024
Barcelona vs. Athletic Club FREE LIVE STREAM (1/24/2024): Watch Spanish Copa del Rey Quarter-final online | Time, USA TV, channel. The Copa del Rey quarterfinals are heating up, and the upcoming match between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona is one of the most anticipated games of the tournament.
Barcelona has a rich history in the Copa del Rey, having won the tournament a record 31 times. The team is currently in good form, having won their last three matches in La Liga. Athletic Bilbao, on the other hand, has struggled in recent weeks, having lost their last two matches in La Liga
Here’s what you need to know:
What: Spanish Copa del Rey Quarter-Finals
Who: Barcelona vs. Athletic Club
When: Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Estadio San Mamés, Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain
It's the Copa Del Rey quarterfinals and Barcelona need a victory to ease the pressure on Xavi. Despite late goals pushing Barcelona over Real Betis in La Liga over the weekend, they'll need a trophy to salvage this season and multiple trophies to make it a success. Being able to break out of their road struggles behind a Ferran Torres hat trick is a positive for Barcelona but Athletic Club will offer a different sort of challenge despite losing to Valencia during the weekend.
Although Ghana are out of the Africa Cup of Nations, this match will come too soon for Inaki Williams to be back with the club while Dani Garcia, Mikel Vesga and Oscar de Marcos will also be unavailable. Bilbao have been relying on their defense of late but between Gorka Guruzeta and Alex Berenguer, they have quite a balanced attack that will take advantage of all openings allowed by Barcelona.
Joao Cancelo is back but Xavi won't be boosted by any other injury returns as Gavi, Marcos Alonso, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Inigo Martinez and Raphinha will all miss the match. The ter Stegen absence has been a massive one due to Barcelona's defensive regression after last season but if Torres can continue to score with ease, that won't matter.
Following a thrilling victory away to Real Betis to stay alive in the La Liga title race, Barcelona return to action for yet another game in a brutally busy January as the Blaugrana travel to the Basque Country for a monster Copa del Rey quarter-final tie against Ernesto Valverde’s Athletic Bilbao at the Cathedral of San Mamés on Wednesday night.
These two old rivals cannot stop meeting each other in the Spanish Cup, with their legacy in this competition a big part of their historical significance in the country’s football landscape. Barça and Athletic love winning the Cup, and they often have to go through each other in order to experience ultimate glory.
Barça’s last Copa triumph came against Bilbao three years ago, and their last meeting in the Cup came the following season with Athletic winning a sensational Round of 16 encounter almost exactly two years ago. San Mamés will once again provide a magnificent background as these two go to war again, and this time there’s a spot in the Final Four at stake in a competition both teams have a very realistic shot at winning.
Despite Barça’s amazing win at Betis on Sunday and Bilbao’s surprising defeat away to Valencia a day before, it is not crazy to say that Athletic arrive at this one as favorites. Maybe they are not as big a favorite as they were when the draw was made a week ago prior to the weekend’s events, but they are still playing at home and having a consistently great season which gives them the edge over Barça’s rollercoaster.
The simple truth is you never quite know what Xavi Hernández and his troops will give you from one game to another. They might put in an attacking performance of near perfection as they did against Betis, or they’ll flirt with embarrasing Cup exits against a fourth tier team and a third tier team in consecutive weeks.
But you know exactly how Valverde’s team will play, especially in front of the San Mamés faithful: Athletic will press high and suffocate you until you give them the ball back, and then their fast, incisive, decisive and brutally efficient forward players will quickly combine to create chances and score goals before you even know what hit you.
The African Cup of Nations has temporarily taken away their biggest star in Iñaki Williams, who always seems to play at his most devastating best against Barça, but his younger brother Nico has more than made up for Iñaki’s absence and has started to add goals and consistent end product to his impressive set of skills.
There are very few weaknesses in Athletic’s team this season, and Valverde is doing his best coaching job yet. His infamous stint at Barça has made him a more well-rounded manager, and he’s gone back to Bilbao ready to create perhaps the scariest version of Los Leones we’ve seen in the last decade.
Athletic will be relentless and physical, and the crowd will be into it from the very first whistle. San Mamés is always hell, but the temperature will be even higher this time. Athletic can smell a Cup title and they could be in the Champions League next season, and they don’t care who they have to go through to finish this season on a high.
Barça must be ready for war or they’ll leave the Basque Country knowing their most realistic path to a trophy is now dead. They showed against Betis that they’re good enough to score and win against the toughest teams in the toughest environments. The challenge now is to do it again, in an even tougher environment, against an even tougher team.
Athletic Club will look to make it to their fifth consecutive Copa del Rey semi-final when they host Barcelona at San Mames. The Catalan giants produced an exceptional performance last time out in La Liga and will look to build on it. Meanwhile, the home team’s 14-match unbeaten run ended in their previous league outing, and they will look to return to winning ways.
Athletic Club have had a decent season so far. They are fifth in La Liga with 41 points out of their 21 matches. The Basque giants have registered 12 wins, five draws and four defeats. The home team booked a slot in the quarter-final with a comfortable 2-0 win over Alaves in the Round of 16.
Athletic Club dominated the proceedings in the Round of 16 fixture and ended up coming out on top. But, Athletic are heading into this quarter-final clash against Barcelona on the back of a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Valencia. Despite dominating the ball, they could not create enough chances and could not keep their 14-match unbeaten run going.
Meanwhile, Barcelona have not had the best of seasons so far. But they are in the race for all major titles. The Catalan giants are third in the league with 44 points out of their 20 matches. They have won 13, drawn five and have only lost twice so far. The Blaugrana made their way to this quarter-finals with an easy 3-1 win over Unionistas.
The reigning La Liga champions are heading into this fixture on the back of a morale-boosting 4-2 win over Real Betis. Isco did his best to stop Xavi’s team, but a Ferran Torres hattrick was enough to help Barcelona come out on top.
Barcelona will be confident about their chances and will be expecting a tough fight from Atheltic Club in the quarter-finals. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.
The home team do not have to deal with any fresh injuries. But, they do have three players who are on the sidelines, Mikel Vesga, Oscar De Marcos and Dani Garcia. Inigo Ruiz de Galaretta is back fit and should play a part in this fixture. But, he is still unlikely to start.
Athletic Club could go ahead with the 4-2-3-1 formation in this fixture against Barcelona, and Unai Simon will most likely start in goal. Inigo Lekue and Yuri Berchiche will be the two full-backs. The duo will look to support the central defensive duo of Aitor Paredes and Dani Vivian.
In the centre of the park, Ander Herrera will operate alongside Benat Prados. They will form the double pivot in front of the back line and will look to shield them. The duo will also look to ensure they do not allow Barcelona players to dominate the proceedings.