The latest round of the Copa Del Rey was all but completed last night with no major surprises (although Athletic Bilbao's postponed game against Segunda B neighbours Eibar still looks like it might be interesting). As the graphic above confirms, Betis will play Segunda side Las Palmas of the Canary Islands in the last 16, with the first leg (away, I think) on December 12th or 13th, and the return on January 8th/9th/10th.
It would obviously be silly to get carried away at this stage, but I think it's true to say that Béticos have a good feeling about the cup this year. Get past Las Palmas and we may well play Atlético Madrid - for whom the competition comes well down their list of priorities - at the end of January, and immediately after that it could be Sevilla in the semi-finals (although I get the impression that fans of both sides are dreading rather relishing that particular prospect).
You may have noticed that the attendance on Tuesday night was well over 27,000, easily the third-biggest crowd of the midweek games (behind the Big Two), and an amazing figure considering the early kick-off, the unexciting opponents and the chilly temperatures. The club have already promised similar ticketing arrangements for the Las Palmas game - with season-ticket holders getting in free and other seats available more cheaply than normal - and granted a decent start time it's not impossible that close to 40,000 could turn up.
But that's all in the distant future. Next on the agenda are Deportivo La Coruña on Sunday afternoon, with our new hero Álvaro Vadillo likely to start on the bench once again. Apparently Betis have a terrible record in Galicia, but after the last two games I don't think we're going to get too worried about a team down in 17th place with just two wins to their name all season. As Pepe Mel put it this week when asked how he'd managed to turn things around in less than two weeks, "Why?" he said, completely straight-faced. "What happened two weeks ago?"