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Real Madrid - Leganés

Real Madrid v Leganés: first bout of Copa del Rey last-16 tie

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News | 09/01/2019 | Javier García

The Whites head into the first-leg clash bidding to edge a step closer to the quarter-finals (9:30pm CET).
The month of January is synonymous with the Copa del Rey. Over the course of the following four weeks, we will discover the competition's semi-finalists and Real Madrid are gunning to ensure they're amongst the final four. After comprehensively overcoming Melilla (a 4-0 away rout and 6-1 home win), the Whites now face Leganés in the round of 16. The sides' first-leg meeting takes place tonight at the Santiago Bernabéu (9:30pm CET).

Well aware of the importance of the clash, Santiago Solari's men head into the game intent on gaining an advantage in a tie that will be concluded next Wednesday at Butarque. In their quest to advance to the next round, the hosts will take comfort from the fact that they've found the net in each of their last 26 Copa del Rey fixtures at the Bernabéu, a run stretching back over 10 years.

REAL MADRID SCORED 10 TIMES IN THEIR FIRST TIE IN THIS SEASON'S COMPETITION.

"The Copa del Rey is a very special competition and we'll be going all out for victory right from the first whistle against Leganés", declared Solari. The Whites' boss also had his say on the club's latest recruit, Brahim Díaz: "He did well in training and is happy to be here. Whether he plays any part or not will depend on the paperwork". Meanwhile, the injured Mariano, Gareth Bale, Marcos Llorente, Marco Asensio and Toni Kroos definitely won't be involved.

The opposition
For their part, Leganés secured a trip to the Bernabéu after seeing off Rayo Vallecano in the round of 32. Mauricio Pellegrino's side lie 16th in LaLiga and up until last weekend had put together a nine-game unbeaten run. The two teams have faced each other on four previous occasions in the Copa del Rey, with the latest meeting coming last season at the quarter-final stage.

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