Cacereno vs Real Madrid Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Minnows Cacereno will welcome Real Madrid to the Estadio Principe Felipe for their Copa Del Rey last-32 tie on Tuesday

Spanish fourth-tier side Cacereno will experience a once-in-a-lifetime matchup when they welcome European champions Real Madrid for their Copa Del Rey last 32 fixture at the Estadio Principe Felipe on Tuesday night.

The minnows arrived at the draw after defeating Girno in the previous round. One can argue that they might have bitten off more than what they can chew against Los Blancos. Carlo Ancelotti’s side are the pre-eminent side in Spanish football and a record attendance is expected to roar the home team on against the more illustrious opponents.

A 19-time winner of the competition, Real have not won the competition since the 2013/14 campaign. They were stunned 1-0 by Athletic Club in the quarter-finals of last season’s competition.Β  Curiously Ancelotti was the man in charge when Real last won the competition and will be keen to take another step to repeat that success.

One can argue that Real have it all to lose on the night. Cacereno have not played a competitive fixture since November 12 and have a free pass for the night. Rest assured, a surprise win would go down in Spanish football annals as one of the competition’s biggest shocks.

With a La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League crown to defend, the Copa Del Rey is unlikely to feature at the top of Real’s priorities. However, even with a heavily rotated side, they should have enough in the tank to romp home to a comfortable win.

The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics

Cacereno

The Green and the Whites currently play in the fourth tier of Spanish football and are visibly the underdogs going into the game. They are currently sixth in their domestic table and have not played a competitive fixture since the win over Don Benito on November 12.

Curiously, Julio Cobo’s men are on a seven-game unbeaten run going into the tie. It would take a performance of monumental proportions to extend that run to eight games. One thing going in their favour would be that nobody expects them to get anything from the game, this could be an issue for Real as the home side can go out all guns blazing.

With no injury concerns, Cobo is likely to set his side up in the 4-1-4-1 formation on the night. Ivan Moreno will start in goal behind the back four of Pedro Ramirez, Albert Caparros, Ousmane Traore and Samu Gomis.

Karim El Kounni and Miguel Garcia should start out on the wings with Sergio Bermudez and Samu Manchon providing the presence in the middle of the park. Ruyman Arteaga will be tasked with the defensive midfielder’s role, polishing up behind the midfield four. David Grande will lead the line and will hope for some joy against Real’s formidable backline.

Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Moreno; Ramirez, Caparros, Traore, Gomis; Garcia, Bermudez, Arteaga, Manchon, El Kounni; Grande

Real Madrid

Los Blancos have won the competition just twice since 1993 and do not appear to feature anywhere close to their priority this season. However, Ancelotti and his men should give their best to ensure no stone is left unturned in achieving domestic dominance.

Real defeated Real Valladolid 2-0 last time out and will have an eye on the weekend’s fixture against Villarreal at the Estadio de La Ceramica. Ancelotti is expected to ring in the changes and give his big guns a rest. Given the gap in quality between Caceranao and themselves, Real’s reserves should have enough in their tank to see the game through.

Mariano Diaz misses out with an ankle injury while Eder Militao has been named in the squad after missing the game against Valladolid. Ancelotti is likely to set his side up in a 4-3-3 formation despite being expected to ring in a whole host of changes.

Andriy Lunin should start in goal behind the back four of Lucas Vazquez, Nacho Fernandez, Jesus Vallejo and Alvaro Odriozola. The trio of Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni and Dani Ceballos will bring up the midfield, providing both muscle and energy.

Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard should provide the width with Rodrygo leading the line. Ancelotti will hope that he will not have to bring on his big guns off the bench to turn the tide.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Lunin; Odriozola, Nacho, Vallejo, Vazquez; Camavinga, Tchouameni, Ceballos; Asensio, Rodrygo, Hazard

Key Stats

  • Real Madrid have won the Copa Del Rey 19 times, the third most of any club in history. They have, however, just two victories since 1993.Β 
  • Cacereno have never qualified for the last 16 of the competition in their history. A win on the night would see them do so for the first time.
  • Real Madrid and Cacereno have never before faced off in a competitive game.

Player to Watch

Eden Hazard

Hazard to shine bright? (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

The Belgian’s time at Real has been nothing short of a disappointment. Once considered among the best attackers while with Chelsea, he has fallen down the pecking order at Real and is at best a reserve player.

Now 31, Hazard is entering the final years of his career and could find playing time difficult to come by. A technically proficient player, he could run rings around the Cacereno defence on the night. It will not come as a surprise should he take the game by the scruff of the neck and function as Real’s primary playmaker.

Prediction

Cacereno 0-3 Real Madrid

Despite the expectation that Real Madrid will make massive changes, they should have enough quality to see off Cacereno comfortably. The home side are likely to give it their all but as long as Real stick to their strengths, it should prove to be a regulation win for Ancelotti and co.

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