Cádiz CF, SD Huesca and Elche CF are LaLiga’s 2020-21 newcomers. But none of the newly promoted trio will be facing Athletic Club in LaLiga for the first time.
Of the three, Elche CF is side that have come up against Athletic most times in LaLiga. The club -where Athletic left-back Andoni López spent last season on loan- have taken on Athletic Club 42 times in total: Athletic won 18, drew 14 and lost 10 of those games.
In the Copa del Rey, the two sides have been involved in some unforgettable clashes. In the 1973 Copa del Rey final, Athletic Club defeated Elche CF in the Santiago Bernabéu to win their 21st Copa title, and in 2019-20 the lions played against Elche CF in an agonising last.16 match which Athletic Club ended up winning on penalties.
As for Cádiz CF, they have faced Athletic Club 26 times in LaLiga. Athletic Club again are winning the historical head-to-head, with 14 wins, six draws and the rest defeats. The team from Andalusia have never beaten the lions in San Mamés in LaLiga, but they did manage it in the two sides’ only ever Copa match. Cádiz were 1-2 winners in the return leg of the last.16 tie, thus knocking Athletic out of the competition.
Athletic Club were the latest winners of the Ramon de Carranza Trophy, a prestigious summer tournament held in Cádiz every year, and in last season’s edition -the first to be played exclusively by female teams- our lionesses defeated Tottenham Hotspurs on penalties in the final. The men’s first team have also won the tournament, beating Portuguese side Benfica in the 1972 final.
SD Huesca were the last of the three to play in San Mamés, coming to Bilbao for the first time in their history in 2018, in what was just their second ever LaLiga fixture. The side from Aragon were unable to stay up that season, meaning they have only faced Athletic twice in LaLiga, achieving one draw and one defeat. However, the lions did play Huesca twice in the Copa del Rey in 2018-19, with Athletic winning both fixtures 4-0.
Former lion and central-midfielder Mikel Rico is currently turning out for SD Huesca and has become a key figure for the newly promoted team. Last season, he featured in 42 games and scored seven goals as Huesca won the LaLiga Smartbank.