Preview: Copa del Rey third round this weekend in Spain

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MADRID, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- This weekend sees the first 12 games of the third round in the Spanish Copa del Rey knockout tournament, which promises the chance of some surprises.

Saturday sees second division promotion hopefuls, Rayo Vallecano, who are coached by Andoni Iraola, the man who last season led Mirandes to the semifinals, entertain La Liga strugglers Elche, while fourth from bottom Valladolid have to travel to Ibiza to face fourth tier Pena Deportivo.

Abelardo Fernandez returned as Alaves coach on Tuesday after Pablo Machin's surprise sacking. He makes his second debut with a difficult trip to Almeria, who are third in the second division.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Cadiz face a difficult trip to Girona, who have problems scoring goals, while Levante, who made hard work of third tier Portugalete a week ago, have another possible banana skin when they face second division Fuenlabrada.

Sevilla have cruised through the first two rounds and will expect to get past Leganes in Saturday's last game.

Sunday kicks off with second division leaders Espanyol at home to Osasuna and the fact Espanyol are top of the second division while Osasuna are second from bottom of La Liga, means a home win wouldn't really be much of a surprise.

There is a local derby on the south coast as Malaga, now in the second division entertain last season's beaten semifinalists, Granada, while Eibar, who sneaked through the last round 4-3 after extra time, face another trip to the Madrid area to visit third tier Navalcarnero.

Valencia are another team travelling to the capital as they visit Alcorcon, while Villarreal have to fly to face in-form second tier Tenerife and Betis have a difficult visit to play Sporting Gijon.

FC Barcelona, Athletic Club Bilbao, Real Sociedad and Real Madrid all play their games next week due to their participation in the Spanish Supercup. Enditem

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