The Copa del Rey continues this week as we reach the last 32 stage. Here I take a look at Tuesday’s games. Stay tuned for previews of Wednesday and Thursday’s games as well as round ups of all three nights here at La Liga News UK.
All 20 La Liga sides join the 12 remaining Segunda and Segunda B sides at this stage of the competition.
Reigning champions Barcelona, who beat Alaves 3-1 in last year’s final, kick off their campaign against third tier side Real Murcia with the first leg taking place at the Estadio Nueva Condomina at 8:30pm UK time.
Manager Ernesto Valverde is expected to give many B team players a start with the likes of Jose Arnaiz and Carles Alena expected to take part. Fringe players Paco Alcacer and Thomas Vermaelen are both also predicted to play.
Despite this Valverde knows it won’t be an easy game, saying, “It’s one of the most difficult games. It’s important to be prepared mentally going into the match. It will be difficult because our opponents are from a different division but they will grow against us.”
Another Segunda B team with a big draw is Murcia’s near neighbours Cartagena who will face Eduardo Berizzo’s Sevilla. Again the smaller side will host the La Liga giants in the first leg, with kick off at the Estadio Cartagonova at 6:30pm in the UK.
Cartagena manager Alberto Monteagudo knows his side face a tough test, but is adamant they won’t be awed.
“The intensity and desire will not be lacking, from there we have to look to try and hurt Sevilla.”
The Black and Whites have won their last two games against Granada B and San Fernando and currently sit third in the Segunda B Group Four.
Kicking off at the same time as Cartagena-Sevilla is the clash between second tier Numancia and bottom of the Primera, Malaga. Michel’s side have struggled so far in La Liga picking up just one point from nine league games in a 3-3 draw with Athletic Bilbao.
They go in to this game on the back of a 2-0 defeat at the Camp Nou on Saturday.
Numancia also go into this game after a defeat at the weekend, losing 3-1 to Granada but the side from Soria sit in a respectable eighth place in La Liga 1|2|3, incredibly just two points off top spot.
On form Valencia will take on Real Zaragoza at La Romareda at 7:30pm after a resounding 4-0 victory against Sevilla at the Mestalla at the weekend.
Los Che will take a strong 18 man squad to the Segunda side, however, Geoffrey Kondogbia will not make the journey due to a suspension carried over amazingly from four years ago when he played in the competition with Sevilla.
Zaragoza coach Natxo Gonzalez, whose side are currently 11th in the second tier, said of the game; “The tie makes us excited, historically it is a competition that has given many titles and we play against a Primera team that is at a very high level. It is exciting for everyone.”
Getafe will face Alaves in the first leg at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez at the same time in one of four all La Liga ties in the round.
In the league Getafe sit in 14th place on nine points with visitors Alaves currently in the bottom three with just three points to their name from a win at Levante.
Cadiz will also host Real Betis in the final of Tuesday’s six ties. The Yellows are 15th in the Segunda and will hope to make life tough for La Liga high flyers Betis. The game at the Estadio Ramon de Carranza kicks off at 8:30pm, UK time.
Tuesday’s Matches (Kick-Offs UK time)
6:30pm Cartagena vs Sevilla 6:30pm Numancia vs Malaga 7:30pm Getafe vs Alaves 7:30pm Zaragoza vs Valencia 8:30pm Cadiz vs Real Betis 8:30pm Real Murcia vs Barcelona