Arandina vs Real Madrid: Match preview

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Following a hard-fought victory against Mallorca at the Bernabeu, Real Madrid begin their Copa Del Rey title defense in the Round of 32 against the Segunda Federación (4th-tier) side, Arandina CF.

Match details

Date: Saturday, 6th January 2024

Competition: Copa Del Rey

Matchday: Round of 32

Time: 22:30 CEST

Venue: Estadio El Montecillo

Match preview

Los Blancos came up against a resilient Mallorca side, in their first game of the year. Mallorca hit the post twice and that came back to haunt them as Rüdiger netted home a goal in the 78th minute to win the game.

With that victory, Real Madrid continue their reign at the top of the table, still on the same points as Girona – who won a thrilling game against Atletico Madrid to keep up the pace with the league leaders.

Now their attention shifts to Arandina, the team they will take on in the Spanish Cup competition. Arandina have had a poor campaign in their league as they languish at the bottom of the table with just 10 points in 16 games, consisting of a mere 2 victories and 10 losses.

Defensively they’ve conceded 26 goals – 2nd most – and offensively, they’ve scored just 14 goals – the joint lowest. They will face a Goliath task when they come up against the team with the 3rd best defense in Europe and have scored 39 goals in La Liga so far.

This is arguably the biggest game in Arandina’s history and speaking about this, the club’s president – speaking to MARCA – Virginia Martinez said:

“We had to increase stadium capacity. Add more technical lighting. Treatment and reserve the pitch to be in its best condition. For this match, preparations may have increased more.”

As far as Real Madrid are concerned, they are expected to give bench strength and Castilla players the opportunity to showcase their abilities. At the pre-match press conference, Ancelotti confirmed that Toni Kroos, Tchouameni, and Vinícius Júnior will not travel with the squad.

In defense, Kepa will start in goal with center-back duties shared by Nacho and Castilla product, Álvaro Carrillo. Fran García is the only left-back in the squad, hence he is expected to start. On the other hand, Vinicius Tobias will take care of the right flank.

To give Fede Valverde some rest, Nico Paz – who has impressed when given the chance – may get the starting spot. Camavinga returning from injury will slot right into the lineup with Dani Ceballos being the third midfielder.

Carlo Ancelotti teased Arda Güler’s long-awaited debut and is expected to start him as the attacking midfielder. All eyes will be on the Turkish player as he is eager to make an instant impact.

Upfront, the impressive Brahim Diaz would partner up with the Joselu. Both of them would be hoping to get their names on the scoresheet and continue their good run in the white shirt.

This may turn out to be a tricky fixture on the field, but the Merengues are way superior and skillful and would anticipate an easy victory against their opponents, which would secure them a spot in the Round of 16 of the Copa Del Rey.

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