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Real Madrid Vs Osasuna, Copa del Rey 2013-2014: Match Preview and Discussion

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Ancelotti could start Jesé Rodríguez. He also confirmed Bale's presence in the starting lineup.

Denis Doyle

After Xabi Alonso decided to sign a two-year contract with Real Madrid, every match seems quite small, especially if it's a Copa del Rey one. But still, los blancos will have to get the job done (21:30 CET) against a Osasuna squad that managed to get a 2-2 draw against Ancelotti's men some weeks ago.

As Carlo Ancelotti confirmed in his pre-match press conference, this is still a big game for Real Madrid. Xabi Alonso will not be able to celebrate his new contract this time, though. He's still having problems with his eardrum and has been left out of the list. Ancelotti also said that Di María will not start the match after his controversial gesture when leaving the pitch during last match against Celta Vigo. That means that this match will be important for Jesé Rodríguez, who could get a place in the starting XI alongside Gareth Bale. Therefore, Isco would stay on the bench. If Ancelotti wants to give Karim Benzema some rest as well, he could start Morata in his place.

One way or another, expect Real Madrid to start a strong lineup in order to try to finish the tie -if possible- before traveling to Pamplona. That would give the starters a much-needed rest in what is expected to be a really tough month this January.