This quarterfinal is arguably the most intriguing matchup on paper despite pitting together two sides trending in opposite directions. Three-time defending champions Barcelona are heavily favored to oust Espanyol, while Valencia aren’t expected to have many problems with Alavés and Real Madrid — for all their recent struggles — should knock off Leganés.
Atlético will receive a couple boosts prior to kickoff. Gabi, Stefan Savić and Diego Costa are all back from suspension, and none was required to hold off Eibar at the weekend. Kévin Gameiro and Antoine Griezmann were substituted in that 1-0 win, granting both some extra rest ahead of what likely will be an intense, ill-tempered affair.
What’s more, the timing of this first leg appears firmly to be in Atlético’s favor. Sevilla are a team currently in free fall; despite comfortable passage to the Copa quarterfinals, the Andalusians are on their second manager in Vincenzo Montella and lost 1-0 to relegation-threatened Alavés on Sunday, the fifth straight league contest they have lost or drawn. And Sevilla have already suffered a defeat at the Wanda Metropolitano this season, falling 2-0 back in September.
Moyá; Juanfran, Savić, Godín, Lucas; Saúl, Gabi, Vitolo, Koke; Costa, Griezmann.
Atlético 2-0 Sevilla.
How to watch
Date: Jan. 17, 2018
Location: Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain
Kickoff time: 19:00 CEST, 18:00 GMT/BST, 1 p.m. EST, 10 a.m. PST
SB Nation opposition blog: N/A
Available TV/streaming: beIN LaLiga, beIN Sports Connect España (Spain), beIN Sports USA, beIN Sports en Español, fuboTV (United States), beIN Sports 2 (France)
For more listings, head over to livesoccertv.com.