Athl Bilbao v Mirandes 21:00 Tues
After losing their first leg home fixture 2-1 at the end of January, logic would dictate that Mirandés are finally set to bow out of this season’s Copa del Rey when they travel to San Mamés on Tuesday as Bet365 make Bilbao favourites.
This season’s shock successes of the tournament have surpassed all the odds in reaching the semi-finals of the Spanish competition, knocking out the likes of Espanyol, Villarreal and Racing Santander along the way.
That success is in no small part due to Mirandés veteran Pablo Infante, who is the tournament’s top scorer with seven to his name this campaign.
The 31 year-old has reportedly turned down offers from teams in higher leagues so that he can keep his job as director of a bank branch 50 km from the team’s training facilities.
Regardless, the Spanish third division side – who play in Segunda División B Group 2 – have managed to hold on to their talisman and the winger has paid dividends for Mirandés, who will treat the second-leg as the Cup final itself.
Mirandés’ previous best finish in the Copa Del Rey came in the 2004-05 when they club managed to make their way into the round of 16 before being knocked out by Real Betis.
Bilbao have been very impressive going forward this season with Fernando Llorente and Iker Muniain posing particularly powerful presences for the Basque outfit.
That being said, Mirandés can take small comfort in the statistic stating that Bilbao have the 14 the worst home defence in the Primera Division, so while it’s likely the home side may improve on their goal tally, there is a big possibility the underdogs may pinch an away goal of their own heading into their one of the club’s biggest encounters to date.