The draw for the Copa del Rey Round of 16 took place today and Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have learned their opponents for the next phase of the cup competition.
Valencia, Villarreal, Espanyol, Barcelona, Levante, Sporting Gijon, AD Ceuta, Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Mallorca, Alaves, Real Betis, Osasuna, and Athletic Club were left in the tournament along with Real Madrid and Atletico after the Round of 32.
And, Carlo Ancelotti’s men will be facing Villarreal while Diego Simeone & co. are set to come up against Levante as they battle it out for a spot in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Real Madrid made it to the Round of 16 after eking out a narrow 1-0 win over RFEF Segunda Division side CP Cacereno. The Merengues entered into Copa del Rey only in the previous stage, along with the three other teams who are involved in the Spanish Super Cup.
The trip to Cacereno was far from ideal but Ancelotti & co. managed to come out on top thanks to Rodrygo Goes’ golazo in the second half.
Meanwhile, their opponents, Villarreal got past FC Cartagena in the previous round of the competition to set up a date against the Merengues.
As for Atletico Madrid, they have been in the Copa del Rey since the first round and have gotten past Almazan, Arenteiro and Real Oviedo in their three matches in the competition thus far. Their Round of 16 opposition, Levante, beat Getafe in the previous round and will look to topple the Colchoneros.
The Round of 16 ties are scheduled to be played on 17, 18, and 19 January 2023. Both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will be playing away from home.
Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid
Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.
Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”
He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.
“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”
The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.
“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”
And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.
“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”
Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.
“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”
“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.
And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.
“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”
Source: Mundo Deportivo