When and where: Athletic Bilbao Vs. Barcelona in the 2012 Copa del Rey final kicks-off from the Vicente Calderon in Madrid at 4 p.m. ET. TV coverage will be provided by ESPN Deportes, while a live stream will be available via ESPN3.
Preview: The Copa del Rey final in Madrid is more than just an intriguing match-up between two tactically intriguing and aesthetically-pleasing sides. It marks the end of an era.
After four years and 13 titles, Pep Guardiola will step down as Barcelona boss after the match. And it is sure to be an emotional occasion for all involved with Barcelona on Friday.
But Guardiola will be eager for everyone to simply focus on getting the victory to compensate in some slight way for the disappointment of missing out on the La Liga title to Real Madrid and the agony of somehow falling to overcome Chelsea in the semi-final of the Champions League.
In more ways than one, Bilbao represent the perfect opposition for this cup final. It was they who heralded the start of Barcelona and Guardiola's era of dominance as the Catalan giants came out on top in the final of the Copa del Rey back in 2009.
In his final match in charge, it also pits Guardiola up against the man who he has admitted has had a significant impact on his approach to coaching--Marcelo Bielsa.
The Argentine has long been an exponent of the high-pressing game that Guardiola has implemented to such incredible effect during his time at the Camp Nou. It is sure to be a fascinating duel when the similarly-styled teams meet at the Vincente Calderon.
Team News: Barcelona will be missing both Dani Alves and Carlos Puyol from their backline for the final. Martin Montoya is likely to come into the side at right-back with Javier Mascherano and Gerard Pique partnering up at center-back.
Long-term absentees Eric Abidal and David Villa will also be unavailable
In comparison, Bilbao should have a full-strength squad from which to select.
Barcelona (probable, 4-3-3): Pinto; Montoya, Mascherano, Pique, Adriano; Busquets, Xavi, Fabregas; Sanchez, Iniesta, Messi.
Athletic Bilbao (probable, 4-2-3-1): Iraizoz; Iraola, Amorebieta, Javi Martinez, Aurtenetxe; Iturraspe, Ander; Susaeta, De Marcos, Muniain; Llorente.
Prediction: As well as the disappointment of defeat in the Europa League final, Bilbao has enjoyed a woeful end to the La Liga season, claiming just one point from four matches.
But with the focus elsewhere and players rested for many of those matches that form may be misleading. If there is to be several of this great generation of Bilbao players leaving this summer then they will be desperate to go out on a high.
Of course the same is true for Barcelona. Many of the players, who owe so much to Guardiola, will be desperate to give their coach a winning send off and end a difficult campaign on a high.
With both teams fervent in their commitment to high-pressing, attack-minded soccer, expect there to be a good few goals to make it a final to remember. But Barcelona should have enough to always remain ahead.
Athletic Bilbao 2-4 Barcelona