Preview: Cacereno vs. Real Madrid
Real Madrid will be bidding to book their spot in the last-16 stage of the Copa del Rey when they take on fourth-tier outfit Cacereno on Tuesday night.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side were 2-0 winners over Real Valladolid in La Liga last time out, while Cacereno’s last match proved to be their 2-1 success over Girona in the second round of the Copa del Rey.
Cacereno have had to win twice to reach this stage of the Copa del Rey, recording a 3-0 victory over Cordoba in the first round of the competition on November 12 before claiming a La Liga scalp in the shape of Girona.
Indeed, Julio Cobos’s side beat Girona 2-1 in the second round on December 22, with Ivan Fernandez scoring what proved to be the winning goal in the 61st minute of the contest.
Cacereno play their league football in Group 5 of the Segunda Division RFEF, which is the fourth tier of the Spanish football league system.
The Green and Whites have not been in league action since overcoming Don Benito on November 12, with the result leaving them in sixth position in their domestic table.
Cobos’s team will actually bring a seven-game unbeaten run into this contest, and it is very much a free hit for the home side against the reigning Spanish and European champions.
A loss for Real Madrid in this match would go down as one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition, so Ancelotti will be determined to avoid what would be a huge story.
The Copa del Rey is third on Real Madrid’s list of priorities this season, with the team again searching for success in La Liga and the Champions League, but the team have won this competition on 19 occasions, making them the third-most successful side in the tournament behind Athletic Bilbao (23) and Barcelona (31).
Los Blancos last won the Copa del Rey in 2013-14, while they have only lifted the trophy twice since 1993, which is a surprise considering their standing in Spanish football.
Ancelotti’s team will enter this match off the back of a 2-0 victory over Real Valladolid in La Liga on Friday, which moved them to the top of the table, but they are now second, level on points (38) with Barcelona.
Real Madrid are entering a busy run of matches, as they will also face Valencia in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup on January 10, three days after tackling Villarreal in La Liga, so their squad, which is not the deepest considering their vast wealth, will be tested in the coming weeks.
Cacereno Copa del Rey form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
We say: Cacereno 0-3 Real Madrid
Shocks can always happen in this competition, and Cacereno will have gained huge confidence from their win over Girona in the last round. We are finding it very tough to predict an upset here, though, with Real Madrid likely to be far too strong for their opponents on Tuesday night.