10 January 2019
Real Madrid welcome Leganes to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of the Copa del Rey Round of 16 as under-pressure Santiago Scolari hopes to register his first triumph in 2019.
Los Blancos have started a new year off on the wrong foot, failing to win in both La Liga meetings against Villarreal (2-2) and Real Sociedad (0-2). The reigning European holders seem to be going through a new crisis in spite of their recent success at the FIFA Club World Cup where they won their third consecutive title. Since Solari took charge of the team, Los Merengues have won four of six home outings in all competitions, suffering two defeats in the process. Both of those failures have seen Real Madrid failing to hit the back of the net while conceding over 1.5 goals in each. If Los Blancos win this, it would probably be to nil, considering three of their last four home triumphs saw them keeping a clean sheet.
On the other hand, the visitors come into this meeting after a 1-0 loss to Espanyol back last weekend. They are winless in the previous four competitive games (D3, L1), with two of their last three draws ending with the identical 1-1 scoreline. Strong at the back and unconvincing in the final third, Los Pepineros have conceded and scored one goal or less in all of their past five competitive encounters, with just two of their last ten meetings in all competitions producing over 2.5 goals. However, Mauricio Pellegrino hopes his men can replicate last year’s success when they eliminated the Madrid giants from the competition, securing a 2-1victory in the Spanish capital.
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