Lowly Leganes put in a brave display to hold Spanish powerhouse Sevilla to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Copa del Rey and extend their dream but now face a daring task to continue their surge against the out-of-form Vincenzo Montella’s side.
Sevilla Struggles Continue
La Liga side Sevilla turned to Vincenzo Montella to help them get up on their knees following the below-par spell under Eduardo Berizzo but the former AC Milan boss is currently discovering the full extent of the challenge he was tasked with as his team struggled to gain footing in La Liga top-four race.
Winless in last three matches in all competitions, Sevilla were given a huge slap in the face with a frustrating and utterly disappointing 5-1 defeat at Eibar last time out. Laclustre Rojiblancos had no response to marching Eibar and will now be eager to make amends and turn things around before it’s too late. Sevilla boss Montella has went on to apologise to his club’s fans after the thrashing, which was the second time in his five league matches that Rojioblancos conceded five goals. Sevilla are currently sitting in sixth place in La Liga standings and their Champions League hopes are slowly fading away which is why Montella’s men need a swift response. It’s going to be a tough couple of weeks for Montella with Manchester United tie soon to get on the agenda, so the Italian needs to prepare his team mentally as soon as possible and the forthcoming Copa Del Rey clash might just be the perfect opportunity.
Hosts will be without Simon Kjaer who is suffering a back problem, whereas Ever Banega is serving his yellow card suspension.
Leganes Dream On
Lowly Leganes are – by all parameters – enjoying one of the most successful season in the history of this club. Sitting in twelfth place in the La Liga standings with 29 points next to their name, Leganes are not exactly the club you’d expect to join the chase for European places but this brave side still continue to push the boundaries in Spain.
They train on a pitch surrounded by rubble but stand as another major proof that football is much more than money, funds and resources. It’s about heart, soul and desire all of which are extremely strong with the club which continues to write history. There was a few people who’d expect a side such as Leganes to eliminate Spanish and European champions Real Madrid from the Copa del Rey but that’s exactly what Los Pepineros did thanks to a remarkable 2-1 win at Santiago Bernabeu back in January. Unbeaten in last five matches in all competitions, Leganes continued their fine form with a 1-1 draw against Sevilla and a morale-boosting 3-2 league win over Espanyol just before that. A goalless draw at Getafe, last time out, is the result they will embrace with open arms as the unlikely chance to get into the Cup finals presents itself on Wednesday.
Winger Alexander Szymanowski is suffering from a muscle injury, while defender Mauro dos Santos is also unavailable for selection. Joseba Zaldua is suspended.
Under any other circumstances we would have little doubt over consulting you to back Sevilla in this forthcoming Copa del Rey return leg. But Leganes proved to be a rather tough nut to crack and a solid defensive unit which is not easy to break. And will Sevilla going through a rather poor spell of late, we wouldn’t be shocked to see another surprise.
Top pick: Leganes not to Lose 3.00 (2/1) @Betfair
Alternative pick 1: Under 2.5 goals 1.99 (66/67) @188bet
Alternative pick 2: Both teams to score – No 1.80 (4/5) @BetVictor