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REAL MADRID

Real Madrid-Melilla: Solari readies young Copa del Rey side

Álvaro Fidalgo, Cristo González and Javi Sánchez are all in line to face Melilla in Thursday's Copa del Rey last-32 second leg at the Bernabéu.

Update:
El jugador del Real Madrid Castilla, Fidalgo, durante un partido.
Eduardo CandelDiario AS

Real Madrid's 4-0 win in their Copa del Rey last-32 first leg with Melilla in October leaves coach Santi Solari with plenty of margin to field a youthful side in Thursday afternoon's return at the Bernabéu.

Fidalgo and Cristo in frame for first-team minutes

Castilla midfielder Álvaro Fidalgo is expected to be handed his senior bow, while his reserve-team colleague Cristo González is set to be given more game time after scoring on his debut in the opening leg. The striker is enjoying a breakthrough season for Castilla, having netted six goals so far in 2018/19 - the most recent of which was a fine free-kick at Deportivo La Coruña B on Saturday.

Sánchez and Reguilón likely to play in defence

They are likely to be joined by central defender Javi Sánchez, who has become a regular feature of the first-team set-up since Solari replaced Julen Lopetegui just over a month ago. Jesús Vallejo, who is yet to make an appearance in what has been an injury-blighted season, trained with the squad on Wednesday, as did Marcelo, who has now shaken off a muscle strain. However, the Brazilian's regular left-back slot is expected to be filled by Sergio Reguilón against Melilla.

Mariano in line to return to team against Melilla

Centre-forward Mariano Díaz, who has featured for just 13 minutes under Solari, is in the frame to line up in attack alongside Marco Asensio and Vinicius, who impressed on his full debut for Los Blancos in the first leg.

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