Real Madrid begin their Copa Del Rey campaign in unfamiliar circumstances as, for the first time ever, they have a derby match against Fuenlabrada, the team from the city of the same name just to the south of the Spanish capital in the region of Madrid.
Fuenlabrada's Estadio Fernando Torres bears the name of the city's most famous son, and extra seating has been added to the stadium for the biggest game in the side's history thanks to the draw, as ever, pitting the country's biggest sides against minnows from the third tier.
Of course, it is worth remembering the format of Spain's domestic cup competition in which games are two-legged, with the higher ranked team always playing the return leg at home in the round of 32.
Upsets, therefore, are few and far between, and even if Madrid do not achieve the result they would like on Thursday evening, they have the second leg next month to turn things around.
Nevertheless, Zinedine Zidane will be keen to avoid any slip-ups and like he did at this stage last season, the Real Madrid manager could select a strong lineup; indeed, ttwelve months ago away to Cultural Leonesa, the former Galactico fielded a starting eleven with no youth team players as the likes of Dani Carvajal, Toni Kroos, Isco and Marco Asensio duly got the job done in style with a 7-1 victory.
With the tie won, Zidane then used the second leg to give debuts to members of the youth academy and a similar tactic could well be employed this time around, meaning the price of 10/11 (1.91) for the European champions to win with a -2 handicap could well be worthy of consideration, although they are a facing a Fuenlabrada side who have begun the season well.
Having missed out on promotion to the second division last season in the play-offs, Fuenla currently sit second in their Segunda B table, and are unbeaten since the open day of the season. The side have also scored in every game they have played, and while they might not be able to record an historic victory, scoring a goal in front of their fans is not beyond them.
An away win and both teams to score is priced at 11/10 (2.10) and Madrid have kept just five clean sheets in 14 fixtures in all competitions this season.
|Real Madrid to win and both team to score at 11/10 (2.10) for a 2pt stake with Paddy Power|