Real Madrid will stick to their strategy of
treating the early rounds of the King's Cup as a test bed for young
talent in Tuesday's derby at third division Leganes.
Ronaldo, Michel Salgado, Raul and Roberto Carlos have been excused first
round Cup duty while Santiago Solari and David Beckham are injured, and
Guti is suspended.
England striker Michael Owen, who scored two match-winning goals last
week, is hoping to start again on Tuesday but he will be surrounded by
Coach Mariano Garcia Remon, in charge since mid-September, called up 10
members of the club's B team for training on Monday. Owen and
centre-back Francisco Pavon are likely to be the only first team
regulars to start.
"This is a very attractive competition but it requires a different type
of player," the coach said.
"My team is not going to be without all the regulars, I'll choose a
competitive team to win the match. The season is long enough for all the
players to feature."
Leganes came close to pulling off a shock victory over Real in last
year's Cup second round when the nine-times European champions needed a
last-gasp Solari goal to force extra time.
Real survived that scare to reach the final, only to lose to Real
Zaragoza. They have to look back more than a decade to their last Cup
win in 1993.
"We've waited a long time to win this competition but why not this year?"
Garcia Remon said. "We have to win a series of finals to get to the end
and we know there's no margin for error."
Deportivo Coruna and Osasuna are also in action on Tuesday, away to
fourth division Cerceda and third division Castellon respectively.
Holders Zaragoza face a tricky game at second division Gimnastic on
Wednesday while league leaders Barcelona are at third division Gramenet.
The opening round ties are played on a one-off basis, with the team from
the lower division always enjoying home advantage.