Arandina vs Real Madrid

Estadio El Montecillo is the venue as Arandina and Real Madrid battle it out for a place in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.

Stuck in the fifth tier of Spanish football, Arandina defied the odds to dispatch perennial top-flight tenants Cadiz 2-1 in the previous Copa del Rey round and set up this tie. But that unexpected triumph remains their only win across their last eight competitive outings (D2, L5), suggesting this should be the end of the road for Alex Izquierdo’s side. Without a clean sheet since a 1-0 triumph against Murcia in the second Copa del Rey round in early November, Arandina can at least hope to avoid a catastrophe after conceding multiple goals in only three of their eight matches during that dismal run.

Amends are in order for Real Madrid as their performance in a hard-earned 1-0 victory against La Liga underachievers Mallorca at the start of 2024 flattered to deceive. But Carlo Ancelotti won’t care much about the aesthetics after making it three league wins in a row to stay level on points with joint-leaders Girona. Equally significant was the fact ‘Los Blancos’ registered a second consecutive clean sheet after three matches without a shutout beforehand. Clean sheet or not, the record-time European champions should steamroll into the next Copa del Rey round and extend their outrageous nine-game unbeaten streak on the road (W7, D2).

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