Los Blancos will play host to Leganes at the Bernabeu on Saturday, the Madrid club is expected to rest many first team regulars for the match as they prepare for the Uefa Champions League, second leg tie against German giants Bayern Munich.
Real Madrid’s ambition of winning the La Liga title has since evaporated with the winds, as fierce rivals Barcelona are certainly going to wrap up the La Liga title this weekend, however, the best that Zinedine Zidane’s men can hope for is a second place finish in the league.
Barcelona has been dominant this season in the La Liga, they are yet to lose a single match and can boast of a massive 15-point difference between them and third-place Real Madrid, this huge gap is a testament to the fact that Madrid was never in contention for the La Liga crown this season.
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Zinedine Zidane will likely give a lot of fringe players the opportunity to prove their worth, while key players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo may be rested for the Leganes game to keep them fresh for the Champions League.
Although Los Blancos were held to a draw by both Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid in their most recent matches, their home form has been very good.
However, in contrast, Leganes have failed to replicate their first half of the season form, they have been poor in the second period of the season, winning just thrice since the start of February but just managing to fall into the relegation struggle.
It is certain that with the second leg of their Champions League semi-final clash with Bayern Munich coming up and an El Classico tie to follow against Barcelona, Zinedine Zidane will rest a couple of key players for Saturday’s match.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro are some of the first team regulars that are expected to miss the game, while the defence is also expected to be different with Marcelo and Raphael Varane set to be rested and Dani Carvajal out injured.
Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema will likely get the chance to start in attack, while Dani Ceballos, Mateo Kovacic and Marcos Llorente will be in midfield.
An inexperience Madrid defence comprising of Jesus Vallejo, Theo Hernandez and Achraf Hakimi may give Leganes hopes of repeating this season’s Copa del Rey success over Zidane’s team.
Real Madrid will be without the duo of Dani Carvajal and Isco who have been ruled out with injuries sustained in midweek against Bayern Munich. Also, Nacho is a doubt and star player Cristiano Ronaldo will be left out for this game to rest.
Possible Real Madrid starting XI: Navas, Achraf, Ramos, Vallejo, Theo, Ceballos, Llorente, Kovacic, Bale, Benzema, Asensio
Leganes will be without Captain Martin Mantovani and Alexander Szymanowski who are still out injured, but Ezequiel Munoz could return to the squad.
Possible Leganes starting XI: Cuellar, Zaldua, Bustinza, Siovas, Rico, Gabriel, Perez, Eraso, El Zhar, Amrabat, Ramos.
Real Madrid vs Leganes: Prediction
The Champions League semi-final tie against Bayern Munich is the main priority for Madrid and Zidane will field a heavily rotated squad comprising of mainly fringe players. Therefore, we expect this to be a tight match even though Leganes have been very poor on the road. but against an inexperience Madrid team, we think Leganes can get a draw at the Bernabeu, so our prediction is a full-time draw.