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Alaves, Celta to vie for King’s Cup football fil berth

Madrid, Feb 7 : Alaves and Celta Vigo go head to head for a place in the fil of the Spanish King’s Cup football tourment here on Wednesday.

Neither of the teams has ever won the cup, with Celta losing three fils, the last of which was in 2001, while Alaves have never reached the fil, falling at the semi-fil stage in 1998 and 2004, reports Xinhua news agency.

The game in Alaves’ Mendizorroza Stadium will go ahead despite an attempt by Alaves to have it postponed.

The club from the city of Vitoria argued that as Celta’s game at home to Real Madrid, which was scheduled for Wednesday, had to be postponed because of damage caused to the ground by high winds Celta had been able to rest while Alaves played on Sunday in Gijon.

The Spanish Football Federation rejected the claim, arguing that cannot serve as a basis for postponing a Cup game.

Given that Alaves rested nine theoretical starters at the weekend, the fact Celta, who were planning to do the same, didn’t play on Sunday should not have any real effect on what is a well balanced return leg.

A week ago Alaves held on for a 0-0 draw in a rain-swept Balaidos and should be slight favourites to progress. However, the fact they failed to score means a scoring draw would put Celta through to their first fil in 16 years on away goals.

Alaves will have a full house in Mendizorroza to cheer them on, but they will also be aware that although tough to beat they have only defeated Grada and Betis in front of their supporters in the Liga Santander this season.

Celta will look to soak up pressure and use the pace of forwards Iago Aspas, Cedric Bongonda and Pablo Herndez to hit the opponents at pace. IANS

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Ankur Kalita