Having conquered Liverpool on a raucous European night at Anfield and a Barcelona team boasting an attacking triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid will face an entirely different type of challenge when they tackle third-tier outfit Cornella in the Copa del Rey.
The Spanish minnows were delighted to secure a draw against the European champions and will be desperate to make an impression against their illustrious opponents. They’re currently languishing in seventh place in the Segunda B division, but they will surely raise their game for the visit of Los Blancos.
The Copa del Rey is a tournament that’s sprung many a surprise in years gone by, so be sure to tune into this vintage David vs. Goliath clash. Here’s all the information you need on where to catch the contest via an online stream and on television.
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 29
Time: 7 p.m. (BST), 3 p.m. (ET)
Live Stream: Sky Go App (UK)
TV Info: Sky Sports 5 (UK)
Upon drawing Real Madrid, the Barcelona-based outfit claimed it was a tie akin to “winning the lottery.” According to Iain Rogers of Reuters (h/t the Daily Mail), Cornella’s annual budget is circa €1 million, a figure that’s dwarfed by the stratospheric earning potential of Real Madrid. But this match, one that’ll be broadcast across the globe, should enhance their profile and accrue some tangible lucrative gains.
As such, the game has been moved to Espanyol’s nearby Power8 Stadium to help provide some extra income for the minnows. Their own stadium, named the Nou Camp Municipal, has a meagre capacity of 1,500. With Real Madrid in town, expect plenty of Catalans to turn out in support of the local outfit.
They've already sold a massive amount of tickets for the game, as noted here by Rhiannon Jones of Real Madrid TV:
OptaJose affords us an indication of just how difficult a challenge Cornella face, though:
They’ll need to be at their very best to give Real a decent game, even if Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed his decision to rest some of his key men for this one. After overcoming some massive games with distinction, Cristiano Ronaldo is among the men given a night off:
Ancelotti will have one eye on the Club World Cup in mid-December, and that competition is the reason why Madrid’s last-32 clash in the Copa del Rey has been brought forward; aside from Sevilla’s clash with Sabadell, the rest of this round’s matches will be played in early December.
Don’t expect a complete revamp from Ancelotti as he looks to retain the trophy that was his first piece of silverware as Los Blancos boss. A last-16 meeting with Atletico Madrid also looks likely to be on the cards, should the Santiago Bernabeu outfit progress as expected.
They can’t afford to take any liberties though, as noted by club icon Emilio Butragueno ahead of this lopsided clash, per Marca:
We have to be practical and focus on the match against Cornellà, although before that we have plenty of games in two competitions. Each week is a challenge for us and an opportunity for the team to grow.
In thinking about the cup, you have to think about Cornellà, and if we get through, then we'll think about our opponent in the next round.
While Madrid must be professional in their performance, they’ll have far too much for their King’s Cup opponents. Quality players like Javier Hernandez, Asier Illarramendi and Sami Khedira will come into the side, and while they’re not regular starters for the European champions, they are classy players that’ll be too good for Cornella.
Goalkeeper Keylor Navas also starts this one after he was named La Liga’s best goalkeeper last season. So he’s not a bad replacement by any means, per Real Madrid Info:
The Catalan outfit will surely raise their game backed by a passionate crowd, and that could see them initially frustrate a Real side that’ll include some players a little lacking in match sharpness. But once the game settles down, the ability of Ancelotti’s men will take the game away from the Segunda Division B side.
Prediction: Cornella 0-4 Real Madrid