Copa del Rey Preview: Real Madrid v Malaga
Jose Mourinho's men continue the defence of their crown as they welcome their Primera Division rivals to the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of this mouth-watering last-16 tie
By Ben Hayward
Arbeloa, Pepe, Albiol, Marcelo
Xabi Alonso, Diarra
Callejon, Ozil, Ronaldo
Sanchez, Demichelis, Mathijsen, Eliseu
Duda, Fernandez, Isco
Jose Mourinho, now in his second season at the Santiago Bernabeu, is set to name a strong side for this first-leg match in the capital. Jose Callejon and Mesut Ozil are likely to start as Angel Di Maria misses out through injury, while Raul Albiol will come in at the back for Sergio Ramos, who is also sidelined.
Malaga, meanwhile, will be without winger Joaquin, who is ruled out for around a month after picking up a muscle strain in a benefit match on Thursday. Brazilian forward Julio Baptista also misses out through injury.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid defeated Malaga 7-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu last season and also thrashed the Andalusians 4-0 at La Romareda in La Liga this term.
- Real Madrid's 5-1 second-leg win over Ponferradina with a team made up largely of reserve players was the side's seventh straight victory in the Copa del Rey.
- The last time that Madrid lost a Copa del Rey match was last season when they were defeated 2-0 in a second leg against Levante. Lucky for Jose Mourinho's side, they had already won the first match 8-0.
- Malaga are currently seventh in La Liga, 16 points behind leaders Madrid.
- Malaga striker Ruud van Nistelrooy scored 64 goals in 96 appearances for Real Madrid and was close to joining the capital club again from Hamburg last season.
- Malaga have never won the Copa del Rey. The Andalusians' best run saw them reach the semi-finals of the competition in 1972-73.
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Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid CF 5-0 Malaga
- 19.02 %
Real Madrid CF 4-0 Malaga
- 15.98 %
Real Madrid CF 3-0 Malaga
- 12.35 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Oct 19, 2013||Real Madrid CF 2 - Malaga 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||May 8, 2013||Real Madrid CF 6 - Malaga 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Dec 22, 2012||Malaga 3 - Real Madrid CF 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 18, 2012||Real Madrid CF 1 - Malaga 1|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 10, 2012||Malaga 0 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Real Madrid CF|
|Dec 7, 2013||CD Olímpic de Xàtiva 0 - Real Madrid CF 0||ESPC|
|Nov 30, 2013||Real Madrid CF 4 - Valladolid 0||LIGA|
|Nov 27, 2013||Real Madrid CF 4 - Galatasaray 1||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Almeria 0 - Real Madrid CF 5||LIGA|
|Nov 9, 2013||Real Madrid CF 5 - Real Sociedad 1||LIGA|
|22||Ruud Van Nistelrooy||Striker|
|21||Sebastián Fernández Miglierina||Striker|
Callejon is set to get another chance in the starting XI thanks to an injury to Angel Di Maria. The former Espanyol forward has been in fine form since signing for Madrid in the summer and has already scored nine goals in just 12 appearances for Jose Mourinho's side.
|Ruud Van Nistelrooy|
Van Nistelrooy came close to joining Madrid a year ago and he will be keen to show his former club that he still has what it takes at the age of 35, despite a less-than-convincing start to his Malaga career after joining the Andalusian outfit from Hamburg in the summer.
Madrid thrashed Malaga 7-0 in the sides' league meeting last season at the Bernabeu, but this is likely to be a tighter affair, albeit with Mourinho's men big favourites to win - and move closer to a last-eight meeting with Barcelona.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed