January 15, 2019

Copa Del Rey Match Previews – 16th January Wednesday

Atletico Madrid v Girona

Atletico Madrid will host Girona at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday for the fifth round in the second leg of the Copa del Rey. A team like Girona doesn’t seem to be a rival for a team like Atletico Madrid. However, each match between these two teams almost always end in a draw. The first leg of the Round of 16 match also concluded with a collective 1-1 draw.

Atletico Madrid will come into this game fresh off the back of a win against Levante on Saturday. After keeping a clean sheet for the first time in three fixtures, Atletico Madrid will definitely be confident when they face Girona. Manager Diego Simeone will certainly be keen for his men to play better especially since they have a home turf advantage. Since their draw with Barcelona, their Simeone’s team won three matches at home, notching up five goals and conceding none along the way. All in all, their recent performances at home have been quite impressive.

On the other hand, Girona managed to display a good performance during the first leg. On Wednesday, they will face Atleti after struggling to survive on the road which is certainly a bad news for the host especially if they will be going against a side like Atletico Madrid. Girona won their fair share of victories on the road this season; however, they weren’t able to win in their last three away fixtures. As of now, Girona is seated at the 9th place in the La Liga standings.

Moreover, Atletico Madrid are the heavy favourites in this clash but they will need to execute their technical superiority against Girona in order for them to secure the victory on Wednesday.

Sevilla v Athletic Bilbao

Sevilla have been having a stellar season and are deservingly placed above Real Madrid in the league standings. Their domestic campaign is on the right path as well. On Wednesday, Sevilla will take on Athletic Bilbao for their Copa del Rey clash. Pablo Machin’s side hold a massive advantage over the visitors that even if they come out as losers, they will still proceed to the next round.

Athletic Bilbao encountered some challenges in maintaining the level of performance they set for themselves in previous seasons. However, Bilbao is now at the 15th spot in the La Liga table, hovering just three points above the drop out zone. Fortunately, Bilbao seemingly improved in the final their when these two sides met in the competition on over the weekend, managing to score twice and concede none. In order for Bilbao to secure a win against Sevilla, they need to strategise another clean attack.

Meanwhile, Sevilla will come into this match as the heavily favoured side. When Sevilla met with Bilbao last week, they won by three goals which shows how well they are in their attacking ways. Sevilla will see this match as a huge opportunity for them to come out victorious and progress through the next round as well as regain their winning streaks. These two teams prove to be quite a challenge for each other however, there’s only one team who will claim the victory on Wednesday. Which team wants it more?

Sevilla have quite a good record of creating plenty of goal-scoring opportunities at home. In their previous five fixtures at home, they were able to score an impressive eight goals. It’s a tough tie between these two, and considering the unexpected victories of underdogs in the world of football lately, it’s hard to assume who will come out successful in this match.

Leganes v Real Madrid

Real Madrid will be travelling to Butarque to take on Leganes. Real Madrid are the heavily favoured team to progress to the Copa del Rey quarterfinals at Leganes’ expense after claiming a 3-0 victory during the first leg of their last-16 fixture just last week.

Wednesday’s hosts may have knocked Real Madrid out of the previous season’s Copa del Rey when they claimed the 2-1 win at the Bernabeu, but as of now, Leganes suffered a 3-0 thrashing against Real Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 battle. Leganes were the Copa del Rey semifinalists last season but they ended at the 17th place in the La Liga standings in each of their last two campaigns. They are currently seated at the 13th place and will be welcoming Real Madrid fresh off the back of a 1-0 victory against Huesca on Saturday. Leganes lost only seven of their 19 La Liga fixtures this season, which is one more than Real Madrid’s current record.

Real Madrid, on the other hand, are returning to their winning ways in the La Liga when Dani Ceballos scored a late goal in a 2-1 success against Real Betis. It was a much needed win for Santiago Solari’s men, but they can’t afford any more failures since they are still at the 4th spot in the table, a massive 10 points below leaders Barcelona in the Spanish top flight. Real Madrid also secured their spot in the last 16 of the Champions League, but it will be a tough challenge for them if they want to land a fourth consecutive European title considering the form they displayed this season.

By @EliaasMJ

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