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Gameday: Copa Del Rey Quarterfinals!!
As expected, Benzema misses out as he hasn’t recovered from injury, so Jovic is expected to get the start. Another chance for the Serbian striker to show what he’s got. The Brazilians all made the squad as well after landing in Madrid last night though it will be interesting to see if Vini Jr. especially gets the start as he played 60 min for Brazil just yesterday.
✅ Our squad for the #CopaDelRey quarter-final @Athletic_en! pic.twitter.com/8tJCVirUwh— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) February 2, 2022
Caro Ancelotti meanwhile was coy when asked about the left back conundrum.
⚪️ || Real Madrid Press Conference— BEING REAL (@beingrealnews) February 2, 2022
Ancelotti on the left-back situation since Marcelo and Mendy are out:
“We have two options. We can put either Alaba or Nacho as left-back. One of two will be it, and I already know who it is, but I’m not telling you.” pic.twitter.com/GyPkAPpT2s
Bilbao will surely be out for revenge.
In spite of their Super Cup disappointment in Saudi Arabia, Athletic Bilbao can undoubtedly look back on the first few weeks of 2021 with unbridled fondness, as Marcelino led his side to a thrilling Copa del Rey win over Barcelona just four days after their defeat to Real Madrid. The new year has seemingly led to a new wave of confidence in the San Mames outfit, who head into the quarter-final on the back of six wins from their last nine in all tournaments.
Totally unaffected by international call-ups due to their Basque policy, Athletic should enter the quarter-final with nearly a clean bill of health, although Unai Vencedor’s hamstring issue will likely render him unavailable.
Yeray Alvarez, Oihan Sancet and Oscar de Marcos should all be fine to take part, while Iker Muniain will also expect to feature in some capacity after recovering from a bout of coronavirus.
Whether the skipper is fit to start remains to be seen, but if not, 19-year-old Nico Williams will certainly push for a place in order to accompany his brother Inaki Williams once again.
Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; De Marcos, Alvarez, Martinez, Balenziaga; Berenguer, D. Garcia, Zarraga, Muniain; I. Williams, R. Garcia
Make no mistake Los Blancos will be entering the lions den.
@ . .— Athletic Club (@AthleticClub) February 2, 2022
A por el Real Madrid. #AthleticRealMadrid #AthleticClub pic.twitter.com/SPsxl9YcIA
Former Barca President also weighs in on the Mbappe sweepstakes.
| Joan Gaspart (Former Barcelona president): "I'll give you the exclusive: Kylian Mbappé has already signed his contract with Real Madrid. I'm certain of it. I know Florentino, and I'm certain of it." @marca #rmalive— Madrid Zone (@theMadridZone) February 2, 2022
As does one of their current players.
Do I sense a bit of fear Gerard?
️| Pique: "If I was in Haaland’s position and I wanted to win the Ballon d'Or, I wouldn't go to the same team as Mbappe.” @GOAL— Madrid Xtra. (@MadridXtra) February 2, 2022