After two winless games, Real Madrid will try to get going in 2019 against Leganes in the first leg of their Copa del Rey round-of-16 tie.
Los Blancos have squandered four points in La Liga in matches against Villarreal and Real Sociedad and with the pressure mounting on Santi Solari, must get back to winning ways.
Leganes, though, are opponents who are unlikely to prove a pushover. Despite their lowly league standing, they have treated the cup seriously in recent times and reached the semi-finals last season.
|Game||Real Madrid vs Leganes|
|Date||Wednesday, January 9|
|Time||8.30pm GMT / 3.30pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live on beIN SPORTS and streamed on beIN SPORTS Connect.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|beIN SPORTS||beIN SPORTS Connect|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Real Madrid players|
|Goalkeepers||Navas, Casilla, Courtois|
|Defenders||Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Nacho, Reguilon, Sanchez|
|Midfielders||Casemiro, Modric, Ceballos, Valverde, Brahim|
|Forwards||Benzema, Bale, Asensio, Mariano, Vazquez, Vinicius Jr|
Gareth Bale is set to miss around another week for Real Madrid due to a calf problem. Toni Kroos will miss out with an adductor injury and fellow midfielder Marcos Llorente is also sidelined.
Marco Asensio and Mariano Diaz add to Santi Solari’s headaches as both are out.
Raphael Varane and Thibaut Courtois will be rested.
Real Madrid starting XI: Navas; Odriozola, Nacho, Ramos, Reguilón; Ceballos, Casemiro, Fede Valverde; Lucas Vázquez, Benzema, Vinicius.
|Goalkeepers||Lunin, Cuellar, Serantes|
|Defenders||Siovas, Omeruo, Dos Santos, Tarin, Silva, Nyom, Juanfran|
|Midfielders||Perez, Vesga, Gumbau, Eraso|
|Forwards||Arnaiz, Merino, Ojeda, El Zhar, Carrillo, Rolan, Santos, En-Nesyri|
Leganes are missing a number of important players as they approach this encounter, including midfielders Alexander Symanowski and Oscar Rodriguez. Ezequiel Munoz, who would expect to start at centre-back, is also sidelined.
Diego Rolan has been ill and is a doubt.
Leganes starting XI: Cuéllar; Juanfran, Bustinza, Siovas, Tarín; Gumbau, Rubén Pérez, Recio; El Zhar, Braithwaite, Merino.
Betting & Match Odds
Real Madrid are priced at odds of 2/7 to take the win, as priced by bet 365 , while a draw is available at 19/4. A win for Leganes is priced at 10/1.
The slim hopes that Real Madrid had of winning La Liga were eradicated on Sunday as they suffered a stunning 2-0 loss to Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu, leaving the Copa del Rey as their only realistic source of domestic silverware.
Their victory at the FIFA Club World Cup has been rapidly forgotten after a wretched start to 2019, which has also seen them draw 2-2 at lowly Villarreal.
And while Sergio Ramos and coach Santi Solari both complained about the refereeing at the weekend, there is little doubt that the coach is a man under pressure as his side face a battle to qualify for the Champions League.
He refused to be drawn on his future when questioned about it after the latest setback, instead simply reiterating that his team always “compete to win the next game”.
The Argentine was defended by Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric, who said: “The manager is doing a great job but he can't score the goals or stop them at the beginning of the game. He has hope, but we are out there on the field and we have to do better to have more concentration.
“We can't keep cocking up like this in every game. You have to avoid it in the future. We created but we lacked the goal and that's our problem. Solari has our confidence and we won't be looking for excuses with him or blame him.”
To make matters worse, Gareth Bale was pictured leaving the ground 10 minutes before full-time - a matter the coach says will be dealt with internally.
The pressure will only mount on Madrid should they fail to overcome a Leganes outfit that hover just above the Primera Division relegation zone.
They have history in this competition against Los Blancos, having beaten them on away goals in this competition last year at the quarter-final stage.
A repeat of that loss would send the Bernabeu side into a full-blown crisis.