For the first time since 2010, Spain's Copa del Rey final will not feature either FC Barcelona or their arch-rival, Real Madrid. Both suffered stunning upsets in the tournament quarterfinals — Barcelona falling to Basque side Athletic Club Bilbao and La Liga-leading Real Madrid dropping a shocker at the hands of another Basque team, Real Sociedad.
After Athletic Club took a 1-0 win in the first leg of their semifinal tie against Granada, the chances of an all-Basque Cup final now look bright, because Real Sociedad must only defeat a second division side, CD Mirandés, to reach their first final since 1988.
And in fact, according to odds published by Sports Betting Dime, La Real are now the favorites among the Copa del Rey final four to win the tournament, capturing their first Cup since 1987.
According to the site's odds, Sociedad has been set at a money line of +125 to win the Cup — meaning that a bet of $100 would pay off $125 plus the original $100 if the Basque Country team ends up victorious. The all-Basque club Bilbao are close second-favorites at +175, while the current 10th-place La Liga side Granada was installed at +400.
Meanwhile, Mirandés ranks as extreme longshots. Currently 10th in Segunda División, Los Rojillos have been assigned a money line of +1100.
On YouTube, ESPN FC shared highlights of Real Sociedad's dramatic victory over 19-time Copa del Rey-winning Real Madrid.For the first time, the 2020 Copa del Rey has been played in a one-game knockout format in all rounds, except for the semifinal, which remains a two-legged fixture. The new format, as noted above, has allowed underdogs to advance.
The change was controversial, with critics protesting that it diluted the value of the Copa del Rey, Spain's oldest football trophy. But according to Bleacher Report, the players remaining in the final four don't see it that way.
"The cup has not lost prestige, on the contrary. It has acquired more worth," said Athletic Bilbao's veteran forward Aritz Aduriz. "We're a bit sick of seeing Barca and Madrid win it all."
As the odds on the overall tournament winner would indicate, Real Sociedad will enter the first leg as heavy favorites to get the better of their Second Division opponents. According to the latest Caesars sportsbook odds posted by Bleacher Report, Real Sociedad comes in at 43-10, while Mirandés are the heavy underdogs at 13-2. Odds of a draw are set at 73-20.
The Real Sociedad vs. CD Mirandés Copa del Rey semifinal first leg kicks off at 9 p.m. Central European Time at Anoeta Stadium in Spain's Basque Country. In the United States, where the online sports streaming network ESPN+ will carry the match, kickoff will be at 3 p.m. EST, noon PST.