forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his goal against Celta Vigo in their La Liga game, January 6. Reuters
Real Madrid will target a big first leg lead when they host Osasuna in the last 16 of the Copa Del Rey on Thursday.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 9.30 pm local time (2 am IST Friday morning) start with live coverage on Ten Action and Ten HD in India. The match can be watched via live streaming online in the US HERE, Catch the action live online in the UK HERE, with the same for Latin America viewers HERE. Live stream the match in North Africa and the Middle East HERE.
Real reduced the gap on leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the La Liga back to five points with a win over Celta Vigo on Monday, and Carlo Ancelotti will expect more of the same from his side with the visit of Osasuna.
"Playing in our stadium is more comfortable than playing away matches. The fans at the Bernabeu are important for all our matches and tomorrow is no exception because we face a playoff against a team that gave us a lot of trouble in la Liga," Ancelotti said.
"It's an important competition and tomorrow we have to achieve a good score and get the lead on them to take the pressure off the return-leg match."
Osasuna held Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw in their La Liga game last month, with the Spanish giants having to come back from two goals down to secure a point.
Ancelotti is set to make a few changes to his team on Thursday, with the main one being Angel Di Maria dropping back to the bench, with Gareth Bale taking his place.
Di Maria courted controversy by grabbing his groin while being substituted for Bale amidst boos from his own fans. The Argentine winger insisted he did not mean anything by the gesture and Ancelotti said everyone will just have to take his word.
"We have to believe the player. He's given his explanation. If anyone thinks that it was a rude gesture, he's apologised," Ancelotti said. "He's focused and I don't think he'll have any problems at the Bernabeu. That's my hope.
"These fans are always demanding but they're very fond of their players and I don't think he'll have any problems. The fans understand him. It's possible that he made a mistake but the issue has to be finished with quickly because we have a lot of matches and we need him."
Xabi Alonso, who signed a two-year contract extension on Wednesday, misses the game as he continues his recovery from a perforated eardrum.
"He's training well and things are going to improve. Physically, he's capable of playing but we have to attend to how the player is feeling at the moment," Ancelotti added. "He isn't comfortable and today [Wednesday] he has an appointment with a specialist to look into it. He isn't in the squad-list for [Osasuna]."
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