After a narrow victory in the first leg, Real Madrid will look to confirm their spot in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey when they host CD Leganes at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight

In the first leg, which was played at the Estadio Municipal de Butarque, Real Madrid only just managed to get over the line thanks to a solitary Marco Asensio goal. It was by no means a one sided tie, and one can safely assume that Leganes will fancy their chances against the reigning league champions.

However, that was a largely second string side and Real are currently coming off a huge confidence boosting 7-1 victory over Deportivo de La Coruna last week in the build up to this game, while Leganes on the other hand, played out a 2-2 draw against Deportivo Alaves.

Tactics

Real Madrid

Sergio Ramos and Jesus Vallejo are both expected to miss out on today’s tie as they are still nursing injuries. Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to be available as his facial injury isn’t too serious. There are expected to be a few changes to the side that started in last week’s victory.

Not too many, however. Zidane will likely not make too many changes to his squad after the scare they got in the first leg. The tie is far from over, so a strong squad will need to be deployed to leave nothing to chance. Kiko Casilla will likely start in goal ahead of Keylor Nevas.

Theo Hernandez is will likely come into left-back ahead of Marcelo, with Nacho Fernandez, Raphael Varane and Dani Carvajal retaining their places in defence. Mateo Kovacic and Isco will likely replace Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in defence.

Casemiro is expected to retain his place in midfield, with Marco Asensio playing a more advanced role upfront. Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo may start upfront once again, but with Karim Benzema making his return last week, maybe one of them will be rested or we may see the the ‘BBC’ trio finally take to the pitch once again this season.

Probable Starting XI(4-3-1-2): Kiko Casilla; Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Nacho Hernandez, Theo Hernandez; Isco, Casemiro, Mateo Kovacic; Asensio; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale

Real Madrid vs CD Leganes(1)

CD Leganes

Asier Garitano is expected to revert back to a 4-2-3-1 formation. Mauro dos Santos and Alexander Szymanowski are expected to miss out with injury. There are expected to be a few changes to the squad that started in last week’s 2-2 draw against Deportivo Alaves.

Nereo Champagne is expected to start in goal ahead of Ivan Cuellar. Tito and Diego Rico are expected to replace Joseba Zaldua and Raul Garcia at right and left back respectively with Martin Mantovani and Dimitrios Siovas retaining their places in the starting XI.

Ruben Perez and Gabriel are expected to start in the double pivot, with Nabil El Zhar and Jose Naranjo taking their place on the wings. Javi Eraso will likely be deployed as a central attacking midfielder in behind Claudio Beauvue, who is expected to lead the line as a lone striker.

Probable Starting XI(4-2-3-1): Nereo Champagne; Tito, Martin Mantovani, Dimitrios Siovas, Rico; Ruben Perez, Gabriel; Nabil El Zhar, Javi Eraso, Jose Naranjo; Claudio Beauvue

Real Madrid vs CD Leganes(2)

Key Statistics

  • Real Madrid have never lost to CD Leganes in the 5 times they’ve faced each other.
  • Real Madrid have scored 14 goals in those 5 matches against CD Leganes.
  • CD Leganes have scored 6 goals in those 5 matches against Real Madrid.
  • Real Madrid have won 19 of their 32 games this season.
  • CD Leganes have won only 10 of their 24 games this season.

Player To Watch

Real Madrid: Gareth Bale

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 21: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid CF celebrates scoring their third goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Deportivo La Coruna at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 21, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Gareth Bale celebrates scoring their third goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Deportivo La Coruna at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 21, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Picture Courtesy – Getty Images)

The Welshman put in a man of the match performance against Deportivo de La Coruna at the Bernabeu two days ago. He is likely to start again tonight and it should be interesting to see if he build some more momentum and confidence with another fantastic outing.

Prediction

Real Madrid 3-0 CD Leganes

After enjoying their biggest league victory of the season a few days ago, Los Blancos will have some of their confidence back and will look to build on that win with another top class performance. Zidane’s men will look to take no prisoners and will look to put this tie to rest as soon as possible.

Zidane will likely field a much stronger starting XI tonight and should they play with the right intensity from the start, his men should have no problem winning this match by a large margin. A few changes are expected to the starting XI, but Real just have too much quality in their squad to not triumph. Hence, we predict a comfortable victory for Real Madrid tonight.

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