Defending champion, Barcelona and Real Madrid would face difficult starts to 2017 after drawing Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla respectively in Copa del Rey last 16 on Friday.
Barca and Madrid eased into the round of 16 with huge wins against lower league opposition in Hercules and Cultural Leon, but they face tougher tests in the next round against two teams doing well in La Liga.
Sevilla have made an impressive start under Jorge Sampaoli and their two-legged tie against Madrid at the start of the year would be followed by a league game against Zinedine Zidane’s side on January 15.
The first leg of their Copa del Rey game would be at the Santiago Bernabeu, meaning Madrid would then have back-to-back trips to the Sanchez Pizjuan following their La Liga game against Granada.
Athletic are not riding as high as Sevilla in the table — the two sides are seventh and third respectively — but have always proven difficult opposition for Barca, who have won the Copa del Rey in the last two seasons.
Ernesto Valverde’s side beat Barca in the Spanish Super Cup last season, winning 4-0 at San Mames in the first leg, and the first game of this tie will be in Bilbao at the beginning of January.
Atletico Madrid would meet Las Palmas, Real Sociedad play Villarreal, while struggling Valencia take on Celta Vigo in some of the other ties.
The only two second division teams left in the competition, Alcorcon and Cordoba, who knocked out Espanyol and Malaga respectively, would play each other.
The first legs would be played on or close to January 4 and the second legs would be played the following week on or around January 11.
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