Real and Atletico Madrid were both given relatively straightforward ties in the draw for the last 16 of the Spanish King’s Cup knockout football tournament, while reigning Cup holders FC Barcelona have a more complicated task.
Atletico Madrid were on Tuesday drawn to face third tier (Segunda B) side, Lleida. Although Lleida came back from 3-0 down on aggregate to qualify on away goals (3-3) against Real Sociedad in the previous round, Diego Simeone’s side are clear favourites to progress, reports Xinhua news agency.
The return leg of that tie could also see striker Diego Costa return to action for Atletico Madrid as the club will be able to include him in their squad as of January 1.
Real Madrid will be pleased with their tie against Liga 123 side Numancia and although the side from the city of Soria left Malaga by the wayside in the last 32, they should present on paper few problems for Real Madrid.
Barcelona meanwhile have been drawn against Celta Vigo, who on Saturday drew 2-2 in the Camp Nou Stadium in the La Liga.
Celta reached the semi-finals of the Cup last season and are now coached by former Barcelona goalkeeper, goalkeeping coach and assistant coach, Juan Carlos Unzue, who knows the Catalan squad and players very well.
In the other ties, Formentera, who caused a sensation by knocking out Athletic Club Bilbao in the last round, have been rewarded with a tie against last season’s beaten finalists Alaves.
Leganes meet Villarreal (who they beat 3-1 at the weekend), Cadiz are at home against Sevilla in an attractive Andalusian derby, Espanyol will play Levante and Las Palmas take on Valencia.