Copa del Rey Preview – TuesdayJanuary 9, 2018
There are two places in the quarter finals of the Copa del Rey up for grabs on Tuesday night as the first of the last 16 ties come to a close.
The first of those sees Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side welcome third tier Lleida Esportiu to the Wanda Metropolitano.
Los Colchoneros were 4-0 winners in the first leg as Simeone named a strong side and bench with goals from Fernando Torres, Diego Godin, Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann showing just how serious Atleti are taking the tournament.
The squad for the second leg contains three players from the B side, Sergi, Antonio Montoro and Roberto Olabe, but the rest of the squad consists of first teamers with Atleti not wanting to give Lleida hope and secure the safest possible route through to the quarter finals.
Lleida manager Gerard Albadalejo knows that his side have very little chance of getting something from the game but wants them to enjoy the game, “We will compete to leave the name of Lleida as high as possible. We will try to make people happy and make this journey worthwhile and come back satisfied.”
The visitors will be backed by 376 fans who will make the 453 kilometre journey to the new home of the Madrid club.
Atletico Madrid Squad: Moya, Werner; Savic, Lucas, Juanfran, Sergi, Montoro; Carrasco, Augusto, Gabi, Vitolo, Olabe; Torres, Correa, Costa, Gameiro
Lleida Esportiu Squad: Rivas, Oliveros; Nunez, Martinez, Huertas, Cheng, Musa, Pumar; Valiente, Lopez, Eneko, Molina, Andriu. Nierga; Felix, Bojan, Mustapha
The later kick off comes from the Mestalla as Valencia host Las Palmas with the two La Liga rivals tied at 1-1 from the first leg in Gran Canaria last week.
Rodrigo came off the bench to cancel out Jonathan Calleri’s opener for the hosts and that goal has given Los Che the edge going into the second leg.
Valencia boss Marcelino had this to say when asked about the game, “I imagine that every game is difficult to win and from here we will not think about the results we got there but we will play ninety minutes with the idea of winning. It may be that due to their situation that they prioritise the league but we will respect the opponent as much as possible because they will try to get through the tie.”
New Las Palmas boss Paco Jemez took charge of The Yellows for the first time in the first leg and his first league game on Saturday saw them lose 2-1 at home to Eibar. They are currently bottom of the league and although Jemez has said the league is his main focus, he still wants his team to give their all at the Mestalla. “It’s a pleasure to be here and compete against Valencia, those who play tomorrow have to have a good match, improve as a team and fix the mistakes we’ve been making.”
He has named a 22 man squad for the two games against Valencia in the cup and Girona in the league with a mix expected over the two games.
Valencia Squad: Jaume, Neto; Vidal, Montoya, Garay, Vezo, Gabriel, Lato; Parejo, Maksimovic, Kondogbia, Ferran, Gil, Guedes, Andreas; Rodrigo, Zaza, Vietto
Las Palmas Squad: Lizoain, Chichizola, Josep; Simon, Lemos, Garcia, Herrera, Ximo, D.Castellano, Galvez; Gomez, Halilovic, Momo, Santana, J. Castellano, Toledo, Viera, Tana, Aquilani, Jairo, Penalba; Calleri