Real Madrid, Barca in same half of Copa del Rey draw

Madrid, Oct 19: Football giants Real Madrid and Barcelona have ended up in the same half of the draw for the third round of the Spanish Copa del Rey tournament.

The draw not only decided which sides would meet in the third round, but also decided who the sides that make progress will meet on their way to the final, reports Xinhua.

Reigning holders FC Barcelona will play Basque Segunda B (third tier) side Deportivo Alaves, while last season’s beaten finalists Athletic Club Bilbao will play Eibar, another team from the third tier.

Real Madrid will face Alcoyano, who were relegated from the Spanish second division last season. Should Madrid progress they will face either Celta or Almeria in the last 16.

One key factor about the draw is that Barcelona, Valencia, Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid are all in the same side of the draw, meaning a cup final between Barca and Madrid is impossible as the two sides would meet in the semi-final should they progress through the three previous rounds.

If results go as expected, Barcelona would meet Athletic or Malaga in the quarterfinals, while Real Madrid would take on Valencia.

IANS