Leganes will play host to Real Madrid on Wednesday night, in what is a repeat of last month’s historic
Despite a run of games without defeat, Los Blancos remain fourth in La Liga and 17 points behind leaders Barcelona. While the title may be out of reach, they still have it all to do to ensure they have a respectable finish to the season.
Here’s the run down of this Wednesday night’s fixture:
While this match only took place last month, it certainly is a classic for Leganes fans, and a night to forget for Madrid.
Los Blancos were heading into the second leg of their Copa Del Rey quarter-final draw with Leganes with the advantage. Marco Asensio had scored a late-winner at Butarque, leaving Leganes will it all to do in at the Santiago Bernabeu in the second-leg.
Leganes shocked the home side when Javier Eraso scored a wonderful curling effort in the first half to draw his side level on aggregate. Karim Benzema responded with a goal early in the second-half to restore Madrid’s advantage.
Gabriel Appelt Pires’ towering header soon after tipped the advantage in Leganes’ favour for the first time. The side just 13th in La Liga managed to hold on to win the tie on away goals. Leganes had reached the Cope del Rey semi finals for the first time in their history.
Gabriel Appelt Pires vs Casemiro
The hero for Leganes against Madrid back in January was midfielder Gabriel Appelt Pires. The Brazilian headed the winner on the night to send Leganes through to their first ever Copa del Rey semi-final.
To ensure that no heroics by Gabriel again on Wednesday, midfield general Casemiro will be on hand to dominate the middle of the park. The Brazilian was an unused substitute in the defeat to Leganes, and may be brought in to ensure that there are no surprises on Wednesday.
The home side have no fresh injury concerns heading into this tie. Defender Mauro dos Santos has been unavailable since January due to a muscle complaint, and is likely to miss out again on Wednesday. Winger Alexander Szymanowski has been missing since December, but has returned to training.
Madrid could be without Marcelo for Wednesday’s clash after he was forced off against Real Betis with a hamstring njury. Toni Kroos will also miss this game, as he continues to recover from a knee strain.
Potential Leganes Starting Lineup: Cuellar; Tito, Bustinza, Siovas, Salguero; Brasanac, Pires; El Zhar, Goni, Amrabat; Beauvue
Potential Real Madrid Starting Lineup: Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Hernandez; Vazquez, Casemiro, Kovacic, Asensio; Bale, Ronaldo
Real Madrid have responded well since their shock defeat to Leganes back in January. They have won four of their last fives games in all competitions, including a 3-1 victory of Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
Leganes have maintained their respectable La Liga position of 13th, but have not fared well since their historic win over Los Blancos. Leganes have since failed to win a game, and lost their Copa del Rey semi-final to Sevilla.
While they got the better of Madrid last time, they will have to play incredibly well to get the better of them twice.
Prediction: Leganes 0 – 2 Real Madrid