Sevilla host Leganes in the second leg of their Copa del Rey Semi-final at the back of an embarrassing defeat against Eibar on the weekend, and hope to bounce back to reach the Final.
Sevilla have endured a difficult season, one which was coupled with a heavy 5-1 defeat to Eibar in La Liga over the weekend. It was a debut to forget for new signing Sandro Ramirez. Sevilla have made no progress this season, first under coach Eduardo Berizzo and now under new manager Vincenzo Montella. The clash against Leganes is an acid test to Sevilla’s season and only progress to the final will mean anything of significance.
Sevilla’s downward spiral in form will be encouraging for Leganes. They have already proved to be capable of upsets after dumping Real Madrid out of the compettonThis will be encouraging news for Leganes who’ve shown that they are well capable of making upsets in the previous round when they eliminated Real Madrid out of the Copa del Rey.
Sevilla, however, come into this tie with an advantage over Leganes after a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the semi-final. Leganes will certainly be looking for that away goal which will bring the tie back to equal grounds, cancelling out Sevilla’s away goal in the process. Leganes will try to keep the pressure on Sevilla as much as they can and hope to produce something similar to what they did to Real Madrid.
The magnitude of the game is such that it could make or break Sevilla’s season, as well ease pressure on Vincenzo Montella and provide some hope for the Italian to lead the side further. A win against LEganes and progression into the final will certainly bring excitement back to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Team News & Tactics
Vincenzo Montella will make changes to the side that got thrashed to Eibar on the weekend. On the positive side, defender Gabriel Mercado will come back into the team after recovering from his injury. But Montella will make changes to the midfield and attack positions.
Montella will call upon Franco Vazquez, Sarabia and Juaquin Correa to the side. These players have been impressive in cup competitions, and the coach is sure to stick with them. These players will be behind striker Luis Muriel in support.
Simon Kjaer is set to miss this game with a back injury. Montella will be hoping for a return to form for Escudero, who impressed earlier in the season and expected the left-back performs in big games like this one against Leganes.
Other absentees are Daniel Carrico, who is out since October last year. But despite being back in training, he still lacks match fitness. Sebastien Corchia is another major doubt as he is carrying a groin injury.
Overall, Montella will make changes even during the game, and moreover, with plenty of action left this month, including in the Champions League, the manager will have to rotate his squad carefully. LEganes however, remains a threat as well as a make or break game for Montella.
Probable lineup (4-3-3): Rico; Navas, Mercado, Lenglet, Escudero; Vasquez, NZonzi, Banega; Sarabia, Correa, Muriel
Leganes will be without Alexander Szymanowski and Mauro Dos Santos. The critical duo are out with respective injuries. Among returns, Ruben Perez could start for Leganes, after returning from his injury to feature from the bench last weekend.
Leganes are expected to stick to the squad from the weekend action in La Liga. The majority of this team featured against Real Madrid in this competition when then beat the La Liga champions to dump them out.
Champagne will start in goal, and Gabriel set to feature in midfield. The midfielder has been in tremendous form this season, where he has netted five goals and an assist this season for Leganes.
Probable lineup (4-2-3-1): Champagne; Tito, Bustinza. Raul Garcia,Siovas; Brasanac; Gumbau; El Zhar, Gabriel, Amrabat; Beauvue
- Leganes are yet to beat Sevilla in a competitive game since they were promoted.
- Sevilla have won six of the last 10-games losing none.
- Sevilla have conceded in their last 10-games at home.
- Both teams have scored in their last 4 respective games.
Player to Watch
Nzonzi has had a lousy season so far with Sevilla. Earlier in the season under former coach Eduardo Berizzo, Nzonzi was frozen out of the team for disputing with the coach himself. Since Berizzo has been sacked, Montella has re-installed the French midfielder back into the team, although he has not performed at the same level as in his previous times.
Nzonzi is a well-known face in the Sevilla team, and now he needs to act ahead of others and become an inspiration for the team, and there is a belief he would do so. Against Leganes, Sevilla face an anxious test of character as well to save the season.
Nzonzi who would also be eying a world cup place with France would have to come up with top class performances to be even considered among the probable in the squad. Sevilla are in need of leaders and Nzonzi would see this as an opportunity to step-up for the team against Leganes and take Sevilla into the Copa del Rey Final
Sevilla 2-1 Leganes
Despite the recent slump in form for Sevilla, they would easily come over Leganes in the Semi-final. LEganes do have attackers who could trouble any defence in Spain, but they too have their limitations at times. Sevilla attackers, as well as a right midfield, would be enough to stifle the Leganes defence.
In the end, though, Sevilla are expected to win, maybe not with the comfort with which they might want. With a leaky defence of late, Sevilla could concede a goal, but overall they will not repeat the same mistakes that Real Madrid did against their opponents.