Sevilla vs Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo rested for cup tie ahead of crunch league game on Sunday

Zinedine Zidane is rotating his squad as Madrid chase a league and cup double

Max Clark
Wednesday 11 January 2017 16:53
The Portuguese forward has scored 17 goals for Madrid this season
The Portuguese forward has scored 17 goals for Madrid this season

Real Madrid travel to Sevilla in the second leg of the Copa Del Rey round of 16 on Thursday night, looking to inch closer to a league and cup double.

Zinedine Zidane’s men come into the game unbeaten in the league and in terrifying form, having not lost in over 25 games, dating back to the two teams' first encounter this season - the Uefa Super Cup in August, where Madrid ran out 3-2 winners after extra-time.

The French manager confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric will be rested for this game and Sergio Ramos will make his return after completing full training sessions this week.

Despite winning the first leg 3-0, Zidane was keen to keep his team in check ahead of the tie at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. “We know it's another game and it's going to be hard because Sevilla are going to do everything they can to win the game and we're expecting it to be difficult.

"We're prepared for that and it [the first leg result] won't change anything," he said.

The two teams will face each other again on Sunday in La Liga where they are separated at the top of the table by just four points.

Zidane added: "What Sevilla are doing at the moment is phenomenal. They are a really strong team with quality players. Both games are vital to us, it's a big week for us."

Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli has urged his team to dream big ahead of two daunting games at home.

"We're going to try and put in a performance that would allow us to dream of the possibility of a comeback but the reality is that's going to be very complicated," said the Argentine coach of the cup tie.

"For us Sunday's game is like a final. We want to cut the gap with them and that game is where we will be able to say: 'Here we are and we're going to fight for this league title.'

"Winning would take us to within a point of a leader everyone thought was unreachable."

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