Just three months ago, CD Leganes gave us one of the biggest shocks of the season. Leganes is a club without much of a history. They first broke into La Liga last year and just narrowly avoided relegation, finishing in 17th. The goal for Leganes this year was just to stay in La Liga, and anything else was gravy.
No one expected them to make a deep run in the Copa del Rey. Leganes was matched against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey Quarterfinals, and only a handful of supporters thought the club would advance. Things looked bleak after Real Madrid won the first leg in Leganes 1-0, but the small club soldiered on.
Leganes went into the Santiago Bernabeu in the return leg and did not let the environment faze them. They struck first with a goal from Javier Eraso in the 31st minute. Real Madrid leveled when Karim Benzema found the equalizer two minutes after halftime, but then Leganes’ best player stepped in.
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Appelt Pires sent Leganes supporters into a frenzy with his 55th minute goal. The club was able to hang on from there to get a stunning victory and make it to the Copa del Rey Semifinals. Leganes saw their dreams dashed there, but it was still an incredible run. Real Madrid supporters haven’t forgotten the upset and will be sure to voice their displeasure
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Real Madrid vs. CD Leganes
Date and Time: April 28, 2018, 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
US Television Coverage: beIN Sports
Betting Line: Real Madrid -1.5, O/U 3
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You can’t find too much fault with how Leganes has played recently in spite of a 2-1-3 record over their last six La Liga matches. The club has faced an extremely tough slate of opponents, and the three losses came to Valencia, Barcelona, and Villarreal. They were able to upset Sevilla though and knocked off Celta Vigo too. Last week, they drew versus Deportivo La Coruna.
Real Madrid has risen in the La Liga table in recent weeks. They are unbeaten over their last six league matches with a 4-2-0 record. However, if we’re talking about Real Madrid’s recent form, we have to discuss their Champions League performances. The club is now the favorite to win the Champions League for the fourth time in five years after beating Bayern Munich 2-1 in Germany.
Both clubs have a few injuries of note. Leganes will be without some of their key players at the back for this match. Left wing Alexander Szymanowski is a long-term injury, and two of the club’s center backs are injured. Martin Mantovani is dealing with a calf issue and has not been able to play in the last three matches. Ezequiel Munoz is suffering from a bruised foot and has missed the last two. Both players are questionable to play.
Real Madrid will be without some defenders of their own. Nacho has been out for a month as he is battling an injury and both Dani Carvajal and Isco suffered knocks in the first leg of Real’s tie with Bayern Munich. Both players are considered unlikely to play.
Spanish La Liga Free Picks
The big question heading into this match is how many starters Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane plays. Zidane is likely to sit a number of regulars in anticipation of the club’s second leg with Bayern Munich and that could create some chances for Leganes.
This is a good spot to bet the under and the draw. Real Madrid might not be too interested in the match with so much at stake in three days, while Leganes would be thrilled with any sort of result.
Spanish La Liga Prediction: Real Madrid 1, CD Leganes 1