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Copa del Rey: Leganes-Villarreal Preview

Leganes v Villarreal - La Liga Photo by fotopress/Getty Images

Leganes host Villarreal Thursday in the first leg of their Copa del Rey round of 16 matchup. When the two teams met in the league, Leganes managed three goals late on to come from behind and post a 3-1 victory.

Villarreal have been rocked by the departure of Cedric Bakambu, and the squad call is rather light on attackers as a result:

Goalkeepers: S. Asenjo, Barbosa.

Defenders: Mario Gaspar, Álvaro, A. Marín, Víctor Ruiz, Rukavina, Pau.

Midfielders: Cheryshev, Fornals, S. Castillejo, Trigueros, Rodrigo, Ramiro, Raba, Chuca.

Strikers: Bacca and Enes Ünal.

Given that call, my guess for a starting XI is Barbosa (though maybe Asenjo), Mario-Pau-Alvaro-Marin, Cheryshev-Fornals-Trigueros-Rodri, Bacca and Raba.

Leganés have only played two matches since then to Villarreal’s four, and haven’t scored in either one. Key in this match should be whether or not Villarreal can get an away goal. If they can, odds are they’ll either win or draw this leg, unless our defense falls apart yet again at the Butarque. I suspect Calleja has learned his lesson and will try to play more defensively should we score first.

Prediction: Leganés 1-1 Villarreal (Bacca).