Away tests for Barca, Real in Cup
Defending champions Barcelona travel to Cordoba in the Copa Del Rey last 16 first-leg clash on Wednesday.
Playing against a team from a lower division, like Alaves in the previous round, adds a certain risk factor to any cup fixture.
Coach Tito Vilanova and the rest of the coaching staff have made that point clear ahead of the journey to Andalusia, on which they are taking almost the whole first team squad only Valdes, Adriano and Iniesta stay at home.
Cordoba are facing Barcelona just when they have hit on their poorest form of the season. They haven’t won any of their last four games and are no longer among the frontrunners in the second division.
But they’ll be looking to produce a shock on Wednesday, or at least get a result that means they can travel to the Camp Nou on January 10 with their quarter final hopes still intact.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid face La Liga Celta Vigo in the away leg of the last 16 in what will be the seventh time the two teams have been pitted against each other in the competition’s history.
The last match was in 1989 for the quarterfinals in a season where Real pressed on to win the trophy. Statistics favour Real, who have won all their Copa games against Celta except one, the first match between the two in 1941.
"Celta are playing well, we will have the return leg at the Bernabeu and we will ensure that the team is up to scratch to get a good result," said Real assistant coach Aitor Karanka.
Goalkeepers: Casillas, Adan y Jesús
Defenders: Varane, Pepe, Ramos, Carvalho, Arbeloa y Nacho
Midfielders: Khedira, Kaka, Ozil, Alonso, Essien, Modric, Callejon y Di Maria.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Morata.
Pinto, Oier, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Xavi, Villa, Alexis, Messi, Thiago, Dos Santos, Mascherano, Bartra, Sergio, Pedro, Jordi Alba, Montoya, Song and Tello.