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Real Madrid vs Alcoyano Preview

November 27, 2012 By Angela Asante
Having exited the Copa del Rey at the same stage three years ago, Real Madrid will not dare underestimate minnows Alcoyano on Tuesday night.

Real Madrid trounced Alcoyano 4-1 in Valencia in the first leg of the Spanish Copa del Rey. However, Los Blancos will take nothing for granted going into the second leg on November 27, 2012.Analysis

In other circumstances, this Spanish Copa del Rey fixture would not have drawn that much attention as Real Madrid carry a 3-0 margin advantage against the minnows. The first leg ended 4-1 in favour of Los Blancos. Alcoyano coach Asier Garitano immediately threw the towel in a post-match interview with Spanish media Marca.

“We were aware of Real Madrid's great attacking power, but it was something we couldn't control,” he stated.

“It's a pity the tie is already solved after the first leg. Anyway, we made some mistakes in the first half and conceded goals when we could have competed better. You can't make any mistakes against Real Madrid.

 

“We have to forget about Real Madrid now and focus on the league,” Garitano concluded.

However, the Alcoyano coach may now rethink his words. Is it really over for his side to cause an upset? The task is enormous but perhaps not impossible. The Santiago Bernabeu visitors could make full use of the delicate situation in which Jose Mourinho and his men find themselves.

Indeed, Real Madrid have generally not been imposing in the UEFA Champions League despite qualifying for the Last 16. In the Spanish Primera Division, things are even worse: Los Blancos are 11 points behind old foes Barcelona as power is shifting to local rivals and second-placed Atletico.

Jose Mourinho is under real pressure. The Portuguese manager’s blame game after his side’s crucial defeat to Real Betis last weekend did not impress many. Real Madrid’s Round of 32 tie should be a done and dusted matter. On paper, the gap between the Spanish giants and Alcoyano is huge. It showed during the first leg as Madrid toppled their opponents 4-1.

However, with recent twists in the camp of the Merengues, a match like Tuesday night’s appears as a crucial one for Jose Mourinho. It will not just be about reaching the Spanish Copa del Rey Round of 16 anyhow. It will be about correcting the mistakes that have seen the team become inconsistent of late. It will be about winning the trust of the home crowd that Real Madrid can play like champions and battle on all fronts. Mourinho confirmed this reality in an interview with FIFA.com on Monday:

“Tickets will be more affordable and cost less than they normally do, but we have to justify every penny that the fans pay and justify them coming out of their houses in the cold at 2130 to see a Second Division B team.

“We have to give these people what they will demand and they will whistle with every right to do so. The players that have been picked are those who have to take the responsibility.”

Team News

Both managers may make changes to their respective starting XI. Due to the competition’s rule which allows no more than four fringe players to participate, Jose Mourinho has named youngsters Morata, Nacho, Rodriguez and Denis in his roster. They will team up with stars like Modric and Kaka while Essien, Marcelo and Higuain remain on the injury list.

Probable Real Madrid line-up: Adan; Albiol, Varane, Carvalho, Nacho; Modric, Alex; Callejon, Kaka, Jese; Morata

Probable Alcoyano line-up: Alba; Devesa, Selvas, Lopez, Alcantara; De Dios, Pereira; Lara, Remon, Tacon; Torres

Facts

• Real Madrid have won only half of their last six matches in all competitions

• Alcoyano enter the second leg having won five of their last six away matches in all competitions.

• Alcoyano are brimming with confidence having won eight of their last 10 Segunda B matches.

Real Madrid’s last four matches:

November 11, 2012: Levante 1-2 Real Madrid (La Liga)
November 17, 2012: Real Madrid 5-1 Athletic Bilbao (La Liga)
November 21, 2012: Man City 1-1 Real Madrid (Champions League)
November 24, 2012: Real Betis 1-0 Real Madrid (La Liga)

Alcoyano’s last four matches (all in the Segunda B):

November 4, 2012: Ontinyent 0-1 Alcoyano
November 18, 2012: Hurracan CF 1-0 Alcoyano
November 21, 2012: Alcoyano 4-1 O. Xativa
November 24, 2012: Alcoyano 1-1 Villarreal B

Prediction

Result: Real Madrid 3-1 Alcoyano
 


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