Espanyol – Real Madrid Copa del Rey preview: Isco to play as...

Espanyol – Real Madrid Copa del Rey preview: Isco to play as striker?

Espanyol vs Real Madrid La Liga preview

Real Madrid playmaker Isco might find himself in an unusual position as Los Blancos visit Espanyol in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final.

Carlo Ancelotti has revealed he’s thinking of lining-up the Andalucian as a striker, in order to gain possesion and leave more spaces for Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale to reach the box.

Los Blancos struggled to take the victory home nine days ago in the same stadium, where they earned a hard-fought 1-0 win thanks to a header by Pepe. Thus, Ancelotti is considering different approaches to the game in order to correct the mistakes they made back then.

Real seek to extend their great run in 2014, as they have won all matches and they are yet to concede a goal.

Ancelotti will miss Fabio Coentrao due to suspension, and Sergio Ramos is a doubt with a problem in his knee. Youngster Nacho is expected to come in to pair with Pepe at centre-back. The 24-year-old could face his brother Alex, who will very likely start as central midfielder for Espanyol.

Raphael Varane has not made it into the squad, despite having returned to normal training with the team after two months out due to injury.

Espanyol will try to obtain a good result for the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu. Their main concern will be not conceding any goals, and keeper Kiko Casilla aims to be the man of the match once again, after his brilliant performance against Los Blancos in La Liga.

The Periquitos will see his manager Javier Aguirre return to the bench after suspension. The Mexican coach will only miss injured midfielder David Lopez. Meanwhile, Manu Lanzarote and Joan Capdevilla have returned to the squad, although they’re not expected to feature tonight.

Possible line-ups:

Espanyol: Casilla; Lopez, Colotto, Sidnei, Alvarez; Torje, Sanchez, Fernandez, Pizzi; Cordoba y Garcia.

Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Nacho, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Modric, Di Maria; Bale, Isco, Ronaldo.