PHOTO: Archive -FCB

FC Barcelona Intersport will face off against Helvetia Anaitasuna in the Copa del Rey’s Round of 16. The Copa del Rey draw took place this Tuesday afternoon at the Asobal League’s headquarters.

Difficult rival

Helvetia Anaitasuna won’t be an easy rival for Xavi Pascual’s men. The Azulgranas, in their Asobal League debut, were made to work hard for their victory over the Navarre side.

The men managed by the ex-Azulgrana Aitor Etxaburu battled Barça for 40 minutes at the Palau and nearly claimed victory in the first match of the Asobal League.

The quality of the Navarre players and the fact that it’s a single elimination round (hosted in Pamplona), makes this playoff especially difficult.

New tournament format

The 2012/13 handball Copa del Rey will debut a new tournament structure. The Round of 16 will pit the top 8 ranked teams of the 2011/12 season against 8 non-ranked teams.

The new format calls for a single playoff match, which will be hosted at the non-ranked team’s arena. The matches will be played on December 5, the winner will go on to the quarter-finals.

The quarter-final matches will be a double-leg playoff, and there won’t be any restrictions in the draw. Therefore, the 8 ranked teams could face off against each other. The away leg of the quarter-finals will be played at the end of February, and the return leg will be played in March.

Final Four

The last part of the competition will be decided via a Final Four format. The winners of the quarter-finals will face off in the first weekend of May. The Final Four venue has yet to be determined.

The Final Four matchups will be decided by a draw. There will be no seeded teams, and there will be no restrictions on the matchups.

Round of 16 Copa del Rey matchups

Helvetia Anaitasuna – FC Barcelona Intersport

ARS Palma del Río - BM Aragón

Academia Octavio - BM Atlético de Madrid

Alser Puerto Sagunto -Cuatro Rayas Valladolid

BM. Huesca - Fraikin BM. Granollers

Quabit BM Guadalajara- Reale Ademar Leon

BM Villa de Aranda - Naturhouse La Rioja

CNG - GlobalCaja Ciudad Encantada

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