It promises to be another memorable cup night in Nuevo Vivero, where little Badajoz will take on LaLiga club Granada in the eighth finals of the Copa del Rey. The Spanish third division hopes to be able to live up to its reputation as a giant killer again.
For the small Badajoz, the season can no longer be broken. The Spanish third division team managed to stunt last week in the Copa del Rey by winning 3-1 from LaLiga club Eibar. Thanks to that victory, the black and white are now in the eighth finals of the Spanish cup tournament, equal to their best cup performance ever. The 13,000 fans almost burst the Nuevo Vivero after the last whistle.
Against Granada it will again be a party in the stands. Badajoz of course has nothing to lose, and the team of coach Mehdi Nafti wants to hit a big fish with Granada again. The level of the Spanish Segunda B is of course not to write home about, but the black and white can rely on a nice series of ten unbeaten home games in a row. In addition to Granada, second-class Las Palmas with a 2-1 defeat in and against Badajoz was treated to a cold shower earlier this month.
As a PhD student, Granada is currently in a great season with a provisional eleventh place in LaLiga. The Andalusians, however, mainly enjoy a strong start to the season, because the men of coach Diego Martinez have been struggling in recent weeks. The red and white lost their last two league matches against FC Barcelona (1-0) and Sevilla (2-0), and only last week in the eighth finals of the Copa del Rey visiting third division Badalona (1-3) in the extension make the difference.
The bad shape of Granada is partly due to the injury wave that the team is currently facing. Last week the defenders Domingos Duarte and Ismail Koybasi also got injured, leaving a total of six players in the rag basket. Martinez will have to puzzle on Wednesday evening. Granada trained behind closed doors in the run-up to this cup match, but it is expected that Los Nazaries will play with a mix of basic players and reserves.