Real Madrid’s first defeat since September will have to be put to bed sharply if they are to bounce back in a crunch tie at rivals Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
Atletico’s progress to this stage has been somewhat sloppy to say the least, following a second leg showing at the Vicente Calderon which allowed minnows CE L’Hospitalet to walk away with an historic 2-2 draw.
The loss at Valencia on Sunday for a near full strength Real Madrid returning from victory at the Club World Cup and a winter break came as a shock to everyone.
A title race is well and truly on again this season so it may come as some relief for the players of both camps to lock horns away from La Liga.
Failures for both Barcelona and Real Madrid at the weekend mean Atletico are level on points with Barcelona, each a point behind leaders Real but Carlo Ancelotti’s side do have a game in hand.
KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 8pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Real Madrid 1 (Ronaldo) Atletico Madrid 2 (Tiago, Turan), La Liga, September 2014
Athletico Madrid 1 (Mandzukic) Real Madrid 0, Spanish Super Cup, August 2014
Real Madrid 1 (Rodriguez) Athletico Madrid 1 (Garcia), Spanish Super Cup, August 2014
The sides have now met in four of the last five seasons in the Copa Del Rey.
Last year’s winners Real Madrid have lifted the trophy 19 times to 2013 champions Atletico’s 10.
Since defeat to Atletico in September, Real won 22 competitive games in a row before losing to Valencia at the weekend.
Atletico have lost just one of their 14 home games in all competitions this campaign.
Atletico Madrid to win: 3.6
Real Madrid to win: 2.15
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