While the household names of La Liga head off for international duty, clubs from Spain’s lower leagues continue their Copa Del Rey campaigns. With this being the Third Round, the clubs from the third and fourth tiers of Spanish football play each other to determine who will face the giants of La Liga.
The remaining teams during this round (the teams from the Segunda División) face off to determine who progresses to face a La Liga club, who are not competing in Europe this season, in the Fourth Round. It all sounds a little complicated to start with but trust me, it gets easier. Here is a selection of the teams to look out for during the week:
The 1969 runners-up face fellow Segunda División side Córdoba in Tuesday’s only fixture. The game will take place at the Martínez Valero which boasts a capacity of over 33,000 and hosted Spain’s 6-0 drubbing of Croatia last month. Saúl Ñinguez’s little-known older brother, Jony, is part of the Elche midfield and could feature in this fixture.
The Madrid-based club have previous in this competition having toppled a star-studded Real Madrid team back in 2009. The likes of Guti, Raúl, Karim Benzema and Marcelo all featured in this Fourth Round first leg where they were on the wrong end of a 4-0 thrashing from then 3rd-division Alcorcón. Los Alfareros face off against Lugo, who are looking to reach the Fourth Round for the first time in their history, on Wednesday evening.Embed from Getty Images
The Navarre side are relative newcomers to the third tier of Spanish football and play their games at the smallest stadium left in the competition. The Estadio Valle Araguren holds just 1,000 people, with one goal going up against the backdrop of a carpark. They host Villanovense on Wednesday in what should be a sell-out crowd.
The tiny Catalan club is situated in the suburbs of Barcelona and are the lowest-ranked side left in this year’s tournament. As well as that, they are the only club left from Spain’s fourth tier. Despite their lowly standing, they’re 109-year history includes a run to the Copa Del Rey quarter-finals in 1971. They face Calahorra at home hoping to emulate their run to the Round of 32 four seasons ago.
One of Spain’s biggest clubs historically currently languish in the second tier and will go up against Cadiz in the Third Round. The club from Aragón are the only previous winners of the competition at this stage, having won the cup on six occasions. Their last triumph came in 2004 but relegation from La Liga in 2013 has proved to be a heavier fall than expected.Embed from Getty Images
Here are the fixtures in full:
Elche vs Córdoba
Ebro vs Lleida Esportiu
Lugo vs Alcorcón
Mutilvera vs Villanovense
Racing Santander vs Logrones
Sant Andreu vs Calahorra
Lorca vs Leonesa
Melilla vs Ontinyent
Real Zaragoza vs Cádiz
Rayo Majadahonda vs Sporting Gijón
Almería vs Reus