Atletico, Bilbao look to avoid cup shocks
Atletico Madrid coach Gregorio Manzano has set his sights on going all the way in the Copa del Rey ahead of tomorrow's clash at Albacete. Atletico and the rest of La Liga's sides join the competition in the last 32, and tomorrow they travel to the south-east of the country to take on Antonio Gomez`s third-tier team.
The hosts progressed by beating Alaves in the previous round as they continued a decent campaign which has provided a welcome contrast to last season, when they were relegated from the Segunda Division.
Atletico are two divisions above Albacete and currently lie eighth in the top flight, having enjoyed a 3-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano last time out. But despite good league form, for Manzano, the cup is an important competition and one in which he is looking for his team to succeed.
He told Marca.com: "We have high hopes for this cup. Getting to the final and winning it is one of the great goals."
Atletico, though, have been poor away from home this season, having taken just one point on their travels, and Manzano is not expecting the game to be a formality. He said: "The cup is not easy, there are always surprises, but we will be resolute at Albacete."
Selection issues for Oviedo
The other tie of the night sees Athletic Bilbao travel to Real Oviedo, also of the Segunda B. Oviedo received a bye in the previous round but will be looking to build on the form that has seen them rise to fourth.
They have won their last two matches and will be a tricky proposition at the Estadio Carlos Tartiere, and they could be boosted by the possible return of midfielder Miguel Falcon following a hamstring strain. Xavi More, though, is out with a hamstring injury while Lucien Owona is suspended.
Bilbao are ninth in the Primera Division and drew 1-1 with Mallorca at the weekend.