Our prediction for this Copa del Rey match:
Estadio Manuel Martinez will host Sunday’s Copa del Rey game between Elche and Athletic Club. Elche booked their place in the last 32 by beating the likes of Gimnastica Segoviana and Yeclano, but the Lions are likely to pose a much bigger threat for the hosts than their previous rivals. It is well known that Athletic Club have always been taking Spanish Cup games very seriously; therefore, head coach Gaizka Garitano is likely to field the best possible side against los Franjiverdes.
Considering that the Basques impressed in the 4-0 win over Sestao River in the previous round, away win should be considered. A man to watch in the away team will be Inaki Williams, who is likely to make life difficult for the opposition back-line. In their last meeting in a competitive match Athletic Club recorded a 3-2 win over Elche.
Highlighted Player (Iker Muniain):
Iker Muniain was once considered one of the most talented players in Spain, but he obviously failed to reach his full potential. Munian is an attacking midfielder, who is capable of playing as a forward as well and he began his youth career at Chantrea. In 2005 he made probably the best decision of his career as he joined Athletic Bilbao youth academy.
He made his debut for Athletic Bilbao on 30 July, 2009 in a 1-0 loss to Young Boys in the Europa League. Iker Munian impressed in the 2011/2012 La Liga campaign with the Lions, scoring nine goals in all competitions, but he failed to make a bigger progress. The Athletic Bilbao product has been struggling with injuries and it has to be noted that the injury he suffered against Sevilla on 4 April, 2015 could have ruined his career.
However, he returned to action on 20 December, but he was playing below expectations in the second half of the season. Iker Munian made his Spain debut on 29 February, 2012 in a friendly against Venezuela. La Roja won the match 5-0 and Munian came as a substitute in the 74th minute of the match.
Highlighted Team (Elche):
Established in 1923, Elche is a Spanish club that competes in La Liga. Los Franjiverdes welcome their rivals at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero, the stadium which can hold up to 33,732 spectators. The venue was opened on September 8, 1976.
Elche wear white shirts with green stripe and white shorts when playing at home, while black is the dominant colour of their away jersey. The club’s biggest success came in 1969 as Elche made it to the Copa del rey final. Los Franjiverdes faced Club Atletico de Bilbao in the Spanish Cup final, with the Basques winning the match by one goal to nil.
The likes of Mario Pasalic, Ivan Bolado, Garry Rodrigues, Goran Djorovic, Albert Nadj, Wakaso, Moha, Carlos Sanchez, Ioan Andone, Enzo Roco, Dominique Malonga, Richmond Boakye, and Sory Kaba are some of the notable players who were part of the team in the past. Elche have never represented Spain in European competitions.