Get your printable guide – Spanish Cup first-legs
Just as it was expected to happen, Real Madrid defeated Valencia and Barcelona kicked out Malaga in the Last 8 to set up the first of El Clasico 2013’s fixtures. The two Spanish titans will face off in La Liga in March but for now, everyone’s attention is very much on the business in the Copa del Rey.
Can Jose Mourinho’s outfit, led by goal poacher Cristiano Ronaldo but deprived of injured veteran Iker Casillas, knock out defending Spanish Cup champions Barcelona?
Also vying for a spot in the final of this competition are Atletico Madrid and Sevilla. The two-legged semi-final meeting between these two teams has been outshined by El Clasico. Atletico and Sevilla can profit of this shadow to heat up their plan of upsetting either Barcelona or Real Madrid in the 2013 Copa del Rey final.
Get your printable guide – Spanish Copa del Rey Last 8
Sevilla held Real Zaragoza to a goalless draw last week. The pressure is on Wednesday’s hosts to claim victory as Zaragoza can qualify with a score draw.
Valencia got rattled 5-0 by a Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria inspired Real Madrid in La Liga last Sunday. Los Che, with a 2-0 deficit going into the second leg, will need a miracle to prevail against Los Blancos at the Mestalla Stadium. Also favourites to reach the Spanish Copa del Rey semis are Atletico Madrid. They claimed a straightforward 2-0 win over Real Betis in the first leg.
Valencia were on a four-match winning streak until they lost to Real Madrid in midweek. That encounter, in the Spanish Copa del Rey, was marred by controversy as wrong offside calls went against Valencia amid other incidents.
As a result, this weekend’s league encounter is being hyped around the revenge factor. Los Che, who are not favourites to progress to the Spanish Copa del Rey semis, will be out to torment Los Blancos.
The latter are facing an embarrassing situation in La Liga being 18 points off the top of the standings. It seems to be only a matter of time before Real Madrid officially give up on defending their title. In the meantime, they are yet to reach the 40-point mark.
Get your printable guide – Copa del Rey Last 8 first leg
The Spanish Copa del Rey quarter-final stage gets underway in midweek with Real Madrid opening proceedings on Tuesday. The Spanish giants will host Valencia in the first game of both sides’ triple header.
Real Zaragoza will be looking to make full use of their home advantage as they plot an upset against Sevilla. Barcelona were tested and tried by Malaga over the weekend. The latter went through the process unhurt as they recorded the best ever run in the first half of La Liga with 18 wins and one draw in 19 games.
If Real Madrid are going to succeed this season, it will not come easy. Defending their league crown from Barcelona’s grasp is something they almost – if not entirely – forget about. Los Blancos are four points off the 40-point mark whereas Barcelona have passed the 50-point tally in the table.
That said, the obligation to triumph in cup competitions has taken a much more serious tone for Real Madrid. To begin the year 2013, the team edged a chaotic encounter at home to Real Sociedad.
Going into Wednesday’s Spanish Copa del Rey fixture, they are two positives Mourinho can take from last weekend’s encounter: his side’s goal instinct and determination to avoid the worst. The rest – disciplinary issues and horrific defending – should be put aside if Real Madrid want to excel in the Copa del Rey.
Get your printable guide – Spanish Copa del Rey Last 16 second leg
Real Madrid must overturn a 2-1 deficit against Celta de Vigo. A 4-3 result like the one they clinched against Sociedad in La Liga last Sunday would put Los Blancos out of the cup. A 1-0 win or a 2-0 margin victory on Wednesday is what Real Madrid are contemplating.
Barcelona will likely rest all their big guns as they carry a 2-0 advantage going into Thursday’s second leg match against Cordoba. Also on Thursday, Europa League and UEFA Super Cup titleholders Atletico Madrid will aim to finish the business against Getafe.
Get your printable guide – Copa del Rey, Round of 32, second leg
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Getafe are all expected to book Round of 16 tickets after dismantling their respective opponents in the first leg. These four favourites could be joined by Valencia, Sevilla, Almeria and Cordoba who all carry a 2-0 advantage.
Interestingly, Malaga only just claimed victory away to Cacereno in the first leg. The former have been doing wonderfully well in the UEFA Champions League. They will want to take the Spanish Copa del Rey by storm but can they avoid an upset in the Round of 32 second leg?
Real Betis will be buoyant after their giant killing of Real Madrid in La Liga over the weekend. However, like league rivals Levante, Rayo Vallecano, Osasuna and Granada, they finished the first leg on the bad end of a 1-0 score line. Only victory in the second leg would see them through.
To view all Spanish Cup TV listings, including repeat broadcasts, visit theSpanish Copa del Rey competition page.
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Los Blancos are hoping it will not end quickly like three seasons ago when Alcorcon provided the shock of the tournament. It was at this same stage (Copa del Rey Round of 32) that the Spanish giants suffered a stunning 4-0 loss. At the Santiago Bernabeu, they could only achieve a 1-0 win - far from what was mathematically required to turn around the horror. The year after, Real Madrid came back stronger and became kings of Spain at the expense of runners-up Barcelona.
Last year, they lost their Copa del Rey title to the Catalans. This term, Jose Mourinho is keen to exhibit his cup expertise. His players responded positively after stumbling to their German soil curse a week ago in the Champions League. They went into their game against Real Mallorca 11 points behind current La Liga leaders Barcelona.
Real Jaen are on an unsteady path with one loss and one draw in between three wins during the month of October. They have not scored a single goal on Atletico Madrid’s turf in the 21st century, losing 5-0 and 2-0 in 2001. However, they can find confidence in their home record against Los Blancos’ neighbours. They hosted them twice at the Nuevo Estadio de la Victoria in the past and triumphed 1-0 at each occasion.
A repeat of this score line will create huge noise in the Spanish media nowadays. Atletico Madrid are the reigning UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup champions. Presently, they share the top spot in La Liga with FC Barcelona thanks to an unbeaten run that reads eight wins and one draw in nine matches.
Spanish Copa del Rey Round of 32 – First Leg: Soccer TV listings printable guide
Around Spain, a total of 32 teams will take part in the Spanish Cup on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Defending champions Barcelona will commence their adventure on October 30 with a match against Alaves at the Mendizorrotza Stadium. The only other match on that day will feature Valencia against Llagostera.
Knockout 1 will see La Liga champions Real Madrid face Alcoyano in Alicante on October 31. Jose Mourinho’s men will be keen to start off strongly in the competition which they won two years ago. Local rivals Atletico will play Real Jaen while Malaga, who have been doing extremely well in the UEFA Champions League will play Cacereño.
In the most crunch encounter of this round, Sevilla will host Espanyol. This fixture is expected to overshadow the eight other meetings on Thursday, November 1. The second leg of all these 16 matches are scheduled to take place in four weeks’ time.
To view all Spanish Copa del Rey Round of 32 – First Leg TV listings, including repeat broadcasts, visit the Copa del Rey competition page.
The following TV listings are limited to US, UK and Canadian broadcasts:
The clash may look like a David and Goliath affair in favor of Los Blancos.
But the truth reveals that Real Madrid will have to overcome a mammoth battle during ninety minutes of football as the Spanish giants need to overturn a 4-0 deficit suffered in the first leg away to Alcorcon.
Match analysis and explanations
It’s hard to believe that even a 5-1 victory at home to Alcorcon will oust Real Madrid from the Spanish Copa del Rey on Tuesday evening.
Yet, this is the reality and only a ‘miracle’ will power Los Blancos through to the next stage of the tournament.
On paper, Real Madrid certainly have what it takes to sink Alcorcon by a great margin and ultimately make into the fourth round of the tournament that was won by FC Barcelona last season.