Xabi Alonso is eagerly anticipating Wednesday's Copa del Rey match against Celta Vigo, and has stressed that the round of 16 game will be like a final for Real Madrid.
The midfielder took head coach Jose Mourinho's place at Tuesday's press conference as the Portuguese opted to sit out, and Alonso expects a difficult second leg after Madrid lost the away game 2-1 before the winter break.
"We know how important the match is, it will be like a final. We hope the team plays well and that the crowd gets behind us. We are feeling good and I hope that we can keep this positivity from the start of the year," Alonso said at a press conference.
"We have to set out to win the match. Trying to keep a clean sheet in this competition gives you the advantage. Celta are playing well. I do not think it will be an easy match, but if we connect with the people we have a good chance of getting through and we are confident about qualifying."
Wednesday's encounter is scheduled to kick off at 21:30CET.