Real Madrid Vs. Alcoyano, Copa del Rey 2012: Match Preview and Thread

Denis Doyle

The Santiago Bernabéu will speak out tonight. Real Madrid will face Alcoyano in an apparently irrelevant Copa del Rey match after Mourinho's team earned a 1-4 win in the first 90 minutes of the tie. It'll be interesting to see how the Santiago Bernabéu responds to the team's defeat against Betis which probably put an end to this Liga BBVA season.

It won't be a thrilling game, that's for sure. But it's Real Madrid football after all. There won't be no Kaká (mysteriously out of the list), no Casillas, Arbeloa, Pepe, Alonso or Ramos. But the bench players such as Varane, Albiol, Callejón and Morata will have the chance to prove themselves qualified enough for a place in Mourinho's favorite starting XI.

Nacho, José Rodríguez (remember how well he played in the first match?) and Cheryshev will also start the game, according to Mourinho's press conference. It's hard to criticize Cheryshev. He works really hard and he's also been called by Fabio Capello to play with Russia's National Team. He could end up being a useful player in the first team in a similar role to the one Callejón has. But he's already 22 years old, so he doesn't have much room to improve, considering he's still in Castilla's roster.

It'd be good to see Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Özil resting, but some of them will likely have to start. With Higuaín's injury and Kaká's absence of the list, Benzema and Özil seem ready to play some minutes just before Real Madrid receives Atlético Madrid in one of the most heated rivalry games in these last few years.

Unfortunately, all the lights will be focused on how the Santiago Bernabéu will treat José Mourinho and the players tonight. The Bernabéu is known for being a very hard place to play in a Real Madrid uniform. Instead of supporting the team, they will more than likely show how upset they are with the team's performance from the very first minute. That certainly doesn't help, but Marca, As, and the rest of the Spanish press seem to be closer to their goal: getting José Mourinho out of Real Madrid.

It's true that the team is doing really bad this year. And it's also true that the race for La Liga is probably over. But this team and the coaching staff should've earned some confidence in this project. If the mid-00's Real Madrid is what the Santiago Bernabéu wants (remember they'll be competing against this Barcelona), they are very close from getting it.

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