Celta and Real Sociedad seek the semifinals in their second challenge in 72 hours

Celta and Real Sociedad seek the semifinals in their second challenge in 72 hours


RC Celta and Real Sociedad meet this Tuesday in Abanca Balaídos (9:30 p.m.) for a place in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey, just 72 hours after meeting in LaLiga EA Sports, where the San Sebastian team took the win ( 0-1) thanks to a goal from the excellent Brais Méndez.

Only three days after meeting each other in the domestic competition, Galicians and Basques meet again in Vigo, this time in a cup style. The prize for the winner will be much more than the three points, since it would seal his ticket to the semi-finals in the 'KO' competition, placing him just three games away from being able to lift a title.

In the case of the locals, immersed in the season in which they celebrate the entity's centenary, they are looking for the penultimate round of the tournament seven years later. If they achieve this it would be their fourth cup semi-final in the 21st century, but to do so, Rafa Benítez's team will have to turn around what they experienced in the league match, in which Real Sociedad was superior to them and took the three points. Furthermore, the last cup competition between the two took place in the 2018-19 season and fell on the realistic side.

As for Real Sociedad, which has lost Aihen Muñoz for the remainder of the season, it would be its third presence in the penultimate round of the tournament in this century, and the first after the title won in 2019-20. To do this, Imanol Alguacil's men will try to extend a streak of five consecutive wins in Balaídos, where they have only lost one of their last nine visits.

One of the keys to the match for Celta will be control of the match and not making mistakes when releasing the ball. In the league match last weekend, the San Sebastian team took advantage of the high pressure, so Benítez's men must pay special attention at the beginning of the construction of the plays if they want to satisfactorily resolve the crossing.

For its part, the 'txuri urdin' team, which had a lineup in LaLiga with some unusual players such as Olasagasti, Turrientes or Magunazelaia, will once again bet on a game of high defensive intensity that prevents Celta's most talented players such as Iago Aspas – only 30 actions with the ball in the LaLiga match – or Luca de la Torre, come into play.

As for the lineups, Rafa Benítez could start Douvikas, who with six goals is the top scorer in the Copa del Rey along with Villalibre, predictably giving Aspas a rest. For his part, Alguacil will have to bring on Tierney due to Aihen Muñoz's injury, as well as Mikel Merino, Oyarzabal or Zubimendi, who were not at the start last Saturday. In addition, the debut of forward Sheraldo Becker could arrive, who already entered the squad in the LaLiga match.



RC CELTA: Iván Villar; Mingueza, Starfelt, Unai Núñez, Ristic; Fran Beltrán, Renato Tapia; Carles Pérez, Swedberg, De la Torre; and Douvikas.

REAL SOCIEDAD: Remiro; Aritz, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Tierney; Merino, Zubimendi, Zakharyan; Oyarzabal, Sadiq and Brais Méndez.

–REFEREE: Soto Grado (C. Riojano).

–STADIUM: Abanca Balaídos.

–TIME: 9:30 p.m./Movistar+.