Real Madrid will be looking to redeem itself when it faces Alcorcon on Tuesday in the second leg of the fourth round of the Copa del Rey.
The 4-0 loss at Alcorcon in the first leg left Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini’s job on the line, but the Spanish club hasn’t lost a domestic match since — even with Cristiano Ronaldo out injured.
Now, the team needs to score at least four goals at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, which is expected to be at its 80,000 capacity after the first match was played before 4,000 at Alcorcon’s ground in the southern suburbs of the Spanish capital.
“For the pride and history of Real Madrid, we have to win this tie,” said Kaka, one of the highest paid players on Madrid’s roster.
Raul Gonzalez is likely to start for the first time in four games, while Jose Maria “Guti” Gutierrez could also return for the first time since the embarrassing loss to the third-tier club.
Pellegrini has left Guti out of the team for each of the four games since the Spain midfielder exchanged heated words with his Chilean coach at halftime at the Santo Domingo stadium.
Madrid, which hasn’t won the Copa del Rey since 1993, is one of several top division clubs needing to overturn a first-leg loss to second division clubs this week.
Almeria trails Hercules 2-1, Celta Vigo leads Tenerife 2-1 and 2009 Copa del Rey finalist Athletic Bilbao must overcome a 2-0 deficit to Rayo Vallecano. Racing Santander coach Juan Carlos Mandia could be on his way out if his team doesn’t overturn a 1-0 deficit to Salamanca. Santander is winless in eight overall.
Defending champion Barcelona holds a comfortable 2-0 lead over Cultura Leonesa heading into the Camp Nou on Tuesday, when 11 of the 16 games will be played.
Atletico Madrid hasn’t won since a 2-0 result at Marbella and will likely be without injured striker Sergio Arguero. The Argentine’s leg injury is also putting his place in the national team’s line-up for an international friendly against Spain at the Vicente Calderon on Saturday in doubt.
“He was slightly injured and couldn’t play more minutes than he did since he’s at the point of getting more seriously injured,” said Atletico coach Quique Sanchez Flores, whose sole victory in four games was the first-leg win.
Aguero has scored three goals in two matches despite the leg injury.
Also, Sevilla, Valencia and Deportivo La Coruna carry first leg wins into their matches against lower-tier clubs. Sporting Gijon and Villarreal both drew 1-1 in their matches.
There are three matches pitting first division clubs against each other, with Osasuna leading Xerez 2-1, Zaragoza and Malaga even at 1-1 and Getafe holding a 2-0 lead over Espanyol.