Navarros and Sevilla meet this Wednesday in El Sadar with a spot in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey on the line
The wait has been long in El Sadar, but it has been worth it. The Osasuna fief has not hosted a Cup game since September 2018. It is almost four and a half years and up to fifteen qualifiers played by the rojillos at home until this quarter-final of the KO tournament against Sevilla that opens the doors of the semi-finals for the sixth time in the history of the Navarraese club.
It is not surprising that Pamplona fans daydream about the sports project led by Joseba Arrasate on the bench in the First Division. Although even against the European places in league competition, in the Copa del Rey Osasuna topped the rounds away from home until it achieved its best result in over a decade. Against Sevilla, he tries to match the modern milestones of the 2004-05 seasons, when he reached the final for the only time, losing to Betis at the Vicente Calderón, and 2002-03, when he lost to Recreativo de Huelva in the prelude to the title game. He had already played in the semifinals in 1935, 1936 and 1988.
Everything is an illusion for Osasuna against a Sevilla that sees the cup as the saving table for a season so far from oblivion. The rushed league victory against Cádiz in the Sánchez-Pizjuán allowed the Sevilla team to move out of the red zone of relegation, but with the European places at ten points, the KO tournament route looks best suited to travel to the Old Continent next season and establish itself to look forward to the Seville Parish with a trophy that soothes the wounds of recent times.
On a frosty night in Pamplona, Sadar’s feisty fans will put the heat to the test. Arrasate has the victims of Nacho Vidal and Rubén Peña, his two specific right-backs, so Moncayola points to a stopgap in that part of the field. With the return to goal of Sergio Herrera, hero in the penalty shootout against Betis, the rest of the Osasunista eleven will be very recognizable given the precious prize at stake.
For his part, Jorge Sampaoli does not have Alex Telles, Marcao, Tecatito Corona, Papu Gómez and Fernando, but he will be able to field the returned Ocampos after the Argentine played against Cádiz in the last minutes as a film shot. The Sevillian team failed to convince in their two narrow victories against Alavés and Cadiz, but they have regained some firmness and intend to influence their rearmament by returning to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey two seasons later.
Source: La Verdad