Barca, Real & Betis to feature in 3rd round of Spain’s Copa del Rey

Real Madrid will be in action on Tuesday, travelling to play fourth-tier side Cacereno -- from the city of Caceres in southwest Spain.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti
Real Madrid coach Carlo AncelottiReuters

MADRID: The third round of Spain's Copa del Rey knockout tournament begins on Tuesday with Real Madrid, Barcelona and reigning champions Betis coming into the competition.

Real Madrid will be in action on Tuesday, travelling to play fourth-tier side Cacereno -- from the city of Caceres in southwest Spain.

Carlo Ancelotti will make changes to his starting 11 and reserve keeper Andriy Lunin could get his chance against a side that knocked top-flight Girona out in the last round and who have just returned to Spain after playing two friendly games in Nepal.

The only all-top-flight tie pits Espanyol, fresh from their draw away to Barcelona on New Year's Eve, at home to Celta Vigo. Although both sides will have one eye on La Liga, where they are worryingly close to the bottom three, this could prove to be an open affair as both coaches give a chance to fringe players.

Elsewhere, second-division side Sporting Gijon are at home to Rayo Vallecano in what looks like a relatively even game, while 2021's beaten semifinalists Levante are at home to Getafe, who have a habit of losing to lower-level opposition.

Villarreal are away to second-division club Cartagena and Quique Setien's men need to improve on last season's Cup display, which saw them lose at the same stage in Gijon. There is a clash between two struggling teams on Tuesday, when Ceuta, who are bottom of Group 2 of RFEF 1 (third tier) entertain Elche, who are bottom of La Liga with just four points all season.

FC Barcelona travel to Alicante to play third-tier Intercity on Wednesday, while reigning champions Betis fly to face Ibiza Islas Petusas, from the fourth level of the Spanish game on Thursday.

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