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Playing for a place in the Copa quarter-finals

PREVIEW. 20/01/2022. Alberto Navarro

Ancelotti's side head to the Martínez Valero for the single-game Round of 16 tie (7:00pm CET).

There's no let-up in competitive action for Real Madrid, whose relentless opening month of 2022 continues. After getting their hands on the Spanish Super Cup in Riyadh on Sunday, the madridistas return to Spanish soil for their next challenge. Ancelotti's men knocked out Alcoyano in the previous round of the Copa del Rey and now cross paths with Elche in the Round of 16 (7:00pm CET). Their latest cup tie will once again be a single game played on the road, so only a win will do if they're to make it through to Friday's quarter-final draw.

Their previous Copa performances should be a source of optimism. This is the third time Real Madrid and Elche come face to face in the competition, both previous encounters being played over two legs, in 1961/62 and 1988/89, and finishing in our team's favour. Indeed, in the first of those four games, none other than Paco Gento found the back of the net, and Ancelotti's team will be wearing black armbands in his honour tonight. What's more, this evening's clash won't be the only time these two teams face each other this week. Sunday sees them cross paths once again, this time in LaLiga and at a different venue - the Santiago Bernabéu (4:15pm CET).

Video.Playing for a place in the Copa quarter-finals

“It's another final and we have to be ready”, stated Ancelotti in the pre-match press conference. The Italian coach will be without Militão following his sending-off in the Spanish Super Cup final, but has named this squad for the trip to play opposition who are displaying fine form on home turf - the hosts have lost only two of 10 games at the Martínez Valero this season.

The opposition
Elche currently sit 15th in LaLiga after beating Villarreal at home last Sunday (1-0). They come into the Copa del Rey Round of 16 having seen off Leioa (0-2), Unionistas de Salamanca (0-1) and Almería (1-2). With six goals, Lucas Boyé is their leading marksman, firing them to six wins in their last ten fixtures.