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Zinedine Zidane expecting a tough challenge from Real Zaragoza

Zinedine Zidane expects a tough challenge when his Real Madrid side travel to face Real Zaragoza in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

Los Blancos are currently top of LaLiga, three points clear of Barcelona, but Zidane said Wednesday’s game remains the most important.

“It’s a very difficult game,” Zidane told the club website.

“The opposition look in great shape in the Segunda Division and are fighting for promotion.

“We know the players they have and we have to go into the game with the utmost focus and intensity because we know tomorrow’s game is our most important right now.”

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He added: “We have to give a good account of ourselves, because that’s how we’ll get our rewards on the pitch.

“This is a Copa del Rey clash, it’s our next job and we want to give it our best. We prepare to be in great shape and do a good job on the pitch when the games come around.”

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When asked whether Gareth Bale would feature in the cup game, Zidane said almost all the players had returned, but the Welshman was not included in the squad of 19.

Eden Hazard will miss the cup tie, and has not returned to team training yet following an ankle injury, as will Mariano.

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Zaragoza have been fighting for promotion for the second division this season, and have won the last five matches in all competitions, and head coach Victor Fernandez believes anything is possible.

Fernandez told the club website: “We are going to fight a giant, but in football everything is possible and anything can happen.

“Whatever the result, we have already won,” and insisted his side will show “rigour, competitiveness, commitment and respect for the shirt, although our priority is clearly in the league.”