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Jan 5, 2022 at 3pm UK at Estadio Municipal de Butarque
Leganes
2 - 3
Real Sociedad
Munoz (60', 70')
Merino (21'), Bustinza (32'), Garces (86'), Quintilla (90')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Isak (8'), Oyarzabal (43', 74' pen.)

Preview: Leganes vs. Real Sociedad - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Leganes vs. Real Sociedad - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Copa del Rey clash between Leganes and Real Sociedad, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Second-tier Leganes welcome La Liga stalwarts Real Sociedad to the Estadio Municipal de Butarque for a Copa del Rey round of 32 clash on Wednesday afternoon.

The hosts are down in 17th in the Segunda Division after a disappointing campaign so far, whilst their upcoming opponents are on the fringes of the European spots.


Match preview

Leganes very nearly returned to the top tier at the first time of asking last season, finishing third in the league standings but then being thrashed 5-1 on aggregate by Rayo Vallecano in the playoffs.

Whether or not that heavy defeat had an effect on them, Los Pepineros have struggled badly this season.

A brief positive run of four wins in November and early December came to a halt with a 3-0 loss to Girona, and a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Real Valladolid on Sunday sees them now just two places above the relegation zone.

They also made hard work of progressing past third-tier Cultural Leonesa in the previous round of the Copa del Rey, scoring two of three extra-time goals to ensure they scraped through.

Mehdi Nafti must hope for a cup miracle on Wednesday against an opponent who have progressed through the Europa League group stages.

A 3-0 win over PSV Eindhoven in the final group fixture was crucial in securing Real Sociedad's advancement to the knockout rounds, and they have also been faring well in the domestic cup.

4-0 and 3-0 wins over lower league opposition in the shape of Panaderia Pulido and Zamora were well-executed, if somewhat expected, results, but things have not been going so well in the league recently.

Despite sitting seventh in the standings, and just two points shy of the top four, La Real will be concerned about their faltering form.

Imanol Alguacil's men have not won a league match in their last six attempts, but were at least able to stop the rot of four consecutive defeats with a 1-1 draw away at Alaves on Sunday, where Adnan Januzaj's opener was later cancelled out by a Joselu penalty in the second half.

Leganes Copa del Rey form:
  • W
  • W

Leganes form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

Real Sociedad Copa del Rey form:
  • W
  • W

Real Sociedad form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D

Team News

Leganes have an almost fully-fit squad, with forward Fede Vico the sole absence through a long-term cruciate ligament injury.

Whether Nafti will choose to mix things up considering their poor form recently remains to be seen, but he is likely to go with a more conservative 4-2-3-1 formation compared to his occasional choice of 4-3-3 considering the opposition.

Real Sociedad are confirmed as having 10 positive COVID-19 cases within the squad currently, although very few of those players have been named.

Certain absences come in the shape of Ander Barrenetxea (hamstring) and Carlos Fernandez (ACL), whilst Alex Sola and Nacho Monreal are getting closer to a return.

The visitors' ranks have been bolstered by the recent signing of Rafinha, who has joined on loan until the end of the season, having failed to feature much at Paris Saint-Germain. However, the Brazilian midfielder has not played league football since October 15, so may need time to reach match fitness.

Leganes possible starting lineup:
Riesgo; Palencia, Bustinza, Hernandez, Quintilla; Shibasaki, Recio; Garcia, Pardo, Jose; Garces

Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Remiro; Munoz, Le Normand, Elustondo, Zaldua; Zubimendi, Merino; Portu, Silva, Januzaj; Isak


We say: Leganes 0-2 Real Sociedad

Leganes actually won the most recent encounter between these two sides back in February 2020, but that is a result that appears unlikely to be repeated on this occasion.

Whilst La Real's recent league form has been inconsistent, they have been performing very well in cup competitions and will surely have too much for a struggling second-tier team.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data



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