Real Madrid kicks off their Copa del Rey season paying a visit to third division side Olimpic Xativa, in the fourth round of the competition.
Los Blancos will very likely have a peaceful start to the domestic cup, especially after Carlo Ancelotti has opted to bring all first squad players, rather than giving a chance to the second team youngsters.
Nevertheless, regular substitutes such as Casemiro, Morata, Jese and Nacho are expected to make it in the starting eleven against the modest Valencian side.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso haven’t travelled with their team-mates, and they will rest in this game, as Real face four matches in the next 12 days.
Raphael Varane, who will undergo an especial recovery treatment until January, and Fabio Coentrao, also sidelined until the start of 2014, have also stayed home.
Los Merengues come into the game following a five-match winning run and a spectacular state of shape, particularly in offensive aspects.
For Olimpic Xativa, it’s already a prize to play against Real Madrid as the ticket sales from this match will practically cover their season expenses.
However, coach Luis Garcia Tevenet has claimed they will fight for the victory and they won’t settle for a draw. Artificial turf will be the main threat for Los Blancos.
Nevertheless, even if Olimpic were to savage any point from this game, they would still have to visit the Santiago Bernabeu in the second leg, which makes it almost impossible for them to reach the Copa’s next round.
Olimpic Xativa: Franis; Ramon, Mendoza, Pepin, Peris; Samu, Denis, Belda, Rifaterra; Marena, Perales.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Nacho, Arbeloa; Casemiro, Illarramendi; Di Maria, Isco, Jese; Morata.