The 2022 Copa del Rey final will take place at the Estadio La Cartuja on Saturday evening, as two-time winners Real Betis take on Valencia, who have won the competition on eight occasions.
Real Betis overcame Rayo Vallecano 3-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the tournament to advance to the final, while Valencia beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 over two legs to progress.
Real Betis have only won the Copa del Rey on two previous occasions, lifting the trophy in 1977 and 2005, while there have been the runners-up on a further two occasions in 1931 and 1997.
As a result, it would be a huge achievement for the Green and Whites to win the competition; they overcame CFI Alicante, Talavera and Real Valladolid in the early rounds of this season’s tournament before beating Sevilla and Real Sociedad respectively to make the semi-finals.
Real Betis recorded a 2-1 win over Rayo Vallecano in the first leg of their semi-final, and a 1-1 draw in the second leg of their last-four clash proved to be enough to advance.
It could be a famous season for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, as they are also in a fight for a top-four position in La Liga, currently sitting fifth in the table, three points behind fourth-placed Sevilla, with the team bidding to claim a top-four spot in the top flight for the first time since 2005, but they suffered a 1-0 home loss to Elche on Tuesday night.
Real Betis recorded a 4-1 win over Valencia in La Liga earlier this season, but Los Che have been victorious in three of the last four Copa del Rey contests between the two sides.
Valencia, meanwhile, will enter this match off the back of successive La Liga defeats to Osasuna and Villarreal, which has seen them drop into 10th position in Spain’s top flight.
Los Che are eight-time winners of the Copa del Rey, last lifting the trophy in 2019, beating Barcelona 2-1 in the final of the competition in Seville, while they have been runners-up on a further nine occasions.
Jose Bordalas’s side have beaten Utrillas, Arenteiro, FC Cartagena, Atletico Baleares, Cadiz and Athletic Bilbao to advance to the final, and they will hope that their greater experience in terms of reaching the latter stages of this competition will stand them in good stead against Real Betis this weekend.
Valencia are well-placed to improve on last season’s disappointing 13th-place finish in Spain’s top flight, and a top-half spot, coupled with Copa del Rey success, would have to go down as a successful campaign.
The six-time Spanish champions are some way off being a top-four challenger once again, though, and it is difficult to see them closing the gap with their current squad, with investment needed in the summer market.
Real Betis Copa del Rey form:
Real Betis form (all competitions):
Valencia Copa del Rey form:
Valencia form (all competitions):
We say: Real Betis 2-1 Valencia
Both teams will be feeling confident ahead of this match, and we are expecting it to be a close game on Saturday night. It would not be a surprise to see extra-time and potentially penalties, but we believe that Real Betis will be able to win it in normal time to lift the trophy for just the third time in their history.