Real Madrid, giants of Spanish football, will be without their key stars Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, as the trio, among others, have been rested for the Copa Del Rey clash against Cultural Leonesa on Wednesday. This opens doors for a number of fringe players from their rich squad to showcase their skills at Estadio Reino de Leon.
Despite being without their big names, Real Madrid are always going to be a huge threat as they have good depth in the squad, and it is not going to be a problem for the visitors to come with a solid side. In absence of BBC, Alvaro Morata, who scored the winning goal for the team in their last La Liga match against Athletic Bilbao, is expected to lead the line alongside Lucas Vazquez for Real Madrid.
However, it is not going to be easy for manager Zinedine Zidane to select the starting eleven as he might give chances to some players, who have played less, but also present a side, which is strong enough to comfortably defeat Cultural Leonesa. Fabio Coentrao will start for Real Madrid after being out for some time due to an injury.
The Frenchman believes players in the club should be fortunate just to be a part of the team like Real Madrid whether they play or not.
"Every day we see them lively, not only playing, but also training. Players train and play first for themselves because they like what they do, whether they play or not. I played here and now I'm finished. It is a short time and you have to enjoy it. The players are in this great club and have to enjoy it," the club's official website quoted Zidane as saying.
Though for a team like Real Madrid, they will always consider the La Liga title and the Champions League as their primary target, Zidane understands the importance of Copa Del Rey.
"We're really looking forward to the cup. We know the importance of this competition and we want to do our utmost to win it. I am very excited and the players are too," Zidane said.
Real Madrid should not have much trouble in getting past Cultural Leonesa, but they cannot afford to take anything easy. Leonesa are currently on top of the Segunda B, and have won eight games so they also come into this match with a winning mentality.
The home team players, who will be brilliantly supported, have nothing to lose as they come into the match as massive underdogs, which gives them the freedom to play without any pressure. It is under such circumstances where smaller team can be lethal, and swallow a big team.
Hosting such a team will definitely bring Leonesa major revenues, but they might not just be satisfied with that. They will give it their all, which goes without saying, to spring in a surprise. But will their best be enough to defeat Real?
Where to watch live
Cultural Leonesa vs Real Madrid Copa del Rey match is scheduled for 9 pm local time start (12:30 am IST, 8 pm BST, 3 pm ET). Live Tv listings and streaming options can be found below.
India: TV: No coverage
UK: TV: No coverage
Spain: bein Sports and Gol
Middle East: TV: BeIN Sports 3 .
US: Live streaming: Bein Sports Connect.