The Copa del Rey last-16 draw has thrown Real Madrid against Leganes, who beat the Spanish giants in last season’s competition.
The Madrid clubs were drawn as opponents in the tournament’s round of 16 on Thursday.
Leganes eliminated Real Madrid in the quarter-finals last year: Real won the first leg 1-0 away, but Leganes stunned Los Blancos with a 2-1 second-leg victory at the Bernabeu to progress on away goals.
Real Madrid’s Director de Institucional Relations Emilio Butragueño gave his thoughts on the Copa del Rey Last 16 draw saying:
“Of course last year’s meeting doesn’t bring many good memories for us – especially since we lost at the Bernabéu. This time we’ll be playing the first leg at home.
“We know what these Cup ties are all about and that they are very evenly-fought. The first leg will be played just after Christmas and will meet Villarreal on the 3rd – a few days before. So we’re in for a busy month. I’m sure Leganés will make things difficult for us”.
Barca’s repetitive success in the Copa will not have gone unnoticed in the Spanish capital, and it is time both of Madrid’s major forces made a concerted effort to prevail.
Real last won the competition in 2013-14 when they defeated Barca 2-1, and Atleti had their hands on the trophy the previous season as they toppled Los Blancos 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
New Real manager Santiago Solari will be desperate for success this season after taking the reins from Julen Lopetegui. The Copa offers his side an achievable route to glory after a poor start to their La Liga challenge.
Sevilla have performed well in cup competitions at home and abroad for many years. The Andalusia giants are Barca’s closest rivals in La Liga this season and have appeared in the Copa final in two of the last three campaigns.
Los Hispalenses could go one step further this year and win the famous trophy, but a trip to Basque Country will pose some difficulty.
Barca’s record in recent years has been outrageous, and they have given the Copa credibility in their approach to the tournament.
The Spanish champions have won the trophy on 30 occasions, and their dominance could be set to continue as the rounds pass towards the final.
Meanwhile reigning champions and record 30-time cup winners Barcelona will face east coast side Levante.
The only side outside the top flight, second division Sporting Gijon, play Valencia, while last season’s runners-up Sevilla face struggling Athletic Bilbao.
The other fixtures are Getafe v Real Valladolid, Real Betis v Real Sociedad, Girona v Atletico Madrid and Villarreal v Espanyol.
The first legs will take place between January 8-10, with the second legs a week later, January 15-17.
VAR will also be used starting in this round.