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Changes expected in Real Madrid’s playing XI
- Updated: August 31, 2018
33-time LaLiga champions Real Madrid will look to register their third successive win in the 2018-19 LaLiga season and put pressure on Barcelona when they host their cross-city rivals Leganes later tonight.
Julen Lopeteugi's men have looked good in their first two matches of the season as they beat Getafe 2-0 in their first match this season before getting the better of Girona 4-1 in the second game. Talisman Gareth Bale looked good in both the games as he scored a goal in each of the matches while Karim Benzema looks threatening after netting a brace against Girona last week.
The defence looked solid in both the games after showing some signs of tiredness in their first official game of the season, the UEFA Super Cup against Atletico Madrid. Goalkeeper Keylor Navas has been rock solid in front of the goal in the league so far and it will be interesting to see whether he retains his place in the XI for the Leganes clash.
Skipper Sergio Ramos has been fantastic in the defence and has also scored a couple of goals for his team after becoming their first-choice penalty taker. Prior to the kick-off, Ramos (UEFA defender of the season), along with Navas (UEFA goalkeeper of the season) and Luka Modric (UEFA midfielder of the season and UEFA player of the season) will present the respective awards they won in the UEFA season awards a couple of days ago to the fans at the Bernabeu.
Contrary to Real Madrid's form, Leganes are yet to register a single win in their LaLiga campaign so far as they lost their season opener against Athletic Bilbao at San Mames before putting in a spirited performance and came back to hold Real Sociedad 2-2. The Mauricio Pellegrino's men will look to take some confidence from their game against Sociedad into the Madrid derby against Real Madrid later tonight.
Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Telecast: The match will be telecasted on LaLiga's official Facebook Page. Viewers in India can watch the game on Sony Pictures Network.
Date and time: September 1, 18:45 UTC (00:15 IST on September 2)
Head to head: In the six matches both the teams have played against each other, Real Madrid have got the better of Leganes on all four occasions in LaLiga while both the teams have won a match apiece in Copa del Rey as Leganes have knocked Real out of the competition in the 2017-18 season after beating them 1-2 away from home.
Form: Both the teams are coming into this tournaments in a contrasting fashion as Real Madrid are at the top of the table with six points (a better goal difference than the second-placed Barcelona) from their first two games while Leganes are 15th in the table with just one point from their first two.
Real Madrid manager Julen Lopeteugi will have his task cut out when it comes to picking his playing XI for the game against Leganes. He did not start the likes of Raphael Varane, Luka Modric and new signing Thibaut Courtois in the first three games of the season including the UEFA Super Cup against local rivals Atletico Madrid as the three players were not a part of pre-season as they had an extended vacation after the completion of the World Cup.
In their absence, Isco, Nacho Fernandez and Keylor Navas did well and made a case for themselves for selection. Navas, in particular, was fantastic in the second game and is likely to hold on to his place against Leganes ahead of Courtois while Modric and Varane could get their first start of the season.
Lopeteugi has called up 19 players for the game and their new signing Alvaro Odriozola, who has recovered from his injury, did not make the cut while Real's new number 7 Mariano Diaz has been included in the side and is set to start from the bench.
Leganes, on the other hand, have strengthened their side by signing Real Madrid duo of goalkeeper Andriy Lunin and midfielder Oscar Rodriguez on loan and neither of them is likely to play against their parent club.
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas, Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco, Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema.
Leganes: Ivan Cuellar, Juanfran, Ezequiel Munoz, Dimitrios Siovas, Jonathan Silva, Nabil Zhar, Ruben Perez, Gerard Gumbau, Daniel Ojeda, Javier Eraso and Guido Carrillo.