Cultural Leonesa vs Real Madrid: Probable lineups, key stats, tactics and prediction

The Los Blancos travel to Estadio Reino de León in the North-west part of Spain for their Round 0f 32 tie in this season’s edition of Copa del Rey, against minnows Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa

Real Madrid must have been presumably content when the draws for the next round of Spain’s premier cup competition was announced, having been drawn to a third-division side for the two-legged contest.

The Champions League winners suffered a huge embarrassment last season, when they were thrown out of the Copa del Rey due to fielding an ineligible player. Not many better ways to avenge the embarrassment than winning the cup competition, as they take their first step in the round of 32.

Tactics and probable line-up

Real Madrid

Real Madrid have been hampered by quite a few injuries, with key first team members like Sergio Ramos (knee injury), Casemiro (fibula shaft fracture) and Luka Modric (knee injury) sidelined recently.

This meant few of the players had to overplay to compensate for the injuries of their team-member, but the match on Wednesday offers the perfect setting for manager Zinedine Zidane to shuffle his pack and give some much needed rest to some of the Real Madrid stars.

Alavro Morata scored the winner last weekend agaisnt Athletic Bilbao in a narrow 2-1 victory for the Madrid based team, which pushed them right at the top of the La Liga table with 21 points.

ELCHE, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring with his teammates Cristiano Ronaldo (R) and Gareth Bale during the La Liga match between Elche FC and Real Madrid at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero on February 22, 2015 in Elche, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
The fearsome trio of Benezema – Bale – Ronaldo or BBC as they are more commonly known will be rested for Wednesday’s game. (Photo courtesy Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Zidane will reward the Spanish striker for the goal with a start on Wednesday, while Lucas Vazquez should stationed on the right, having recently signed a new contract with the club.

James Rodriguez is another certainty for the game, and could be positioned on the left wing, with three from either Isco, Mateo Kovacic, Marco Asensio or Toni Kroos fighting for spots in midfield.

Back-line should be more straight-forward with, Danillo – Varane – Pepe in defense, with only Fabio Coentrao’s match fitness in question for the left-back spot.

Zidane prefers a 4-3-3 formation, with three ruthless forwards and at least two controllers in the middle of the park. This system should continue even if there’s vast change of personnel agaisnt Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa.

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Kiko Casilla; Danillo, Varane, Pepe, Coentrao; Kroos, Isco, Kovacic; James, Morata, Vazquez
football formations

Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa

Cultural Leonesa are currently at the top of their group in Segunda division B (Spain’s third division league), and are on a good run of form going into the game; undefeated in their first 13 matches.

Though the level of opposition, even if a much-changed Real Madrid side, should prove to be too much for the home team to continue their unbeaten start to the season.

Two players who could cause some problems for the visitors could be Alex Galar and Benja Martinez. Alex has already scored twice in the Copa del Rey this season while Benja has scored 6 in 9 apps this season.

football formations
Key Stats

  • Cultural Leonesa are undefeated this season, winning 11 of their 13 matches in 2016/17
  • Cultural Leonesa have scored 35 goals in 13 matches this season while conceding only 10
  • The last time Real Madrid lost was back in April, 2016, forging a 24 match unbeaten run since
  • Real Madrid have lost two of their last 3 Copa del Rey games, though one of them was because of disqualification

Player to watch out for

Isco (Real Madrid)

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 02: Isco of Real Madrid gets away from Dani Garcia of SD Eibar during the La Liga Match between Real Madrid CF and SD Eibar at estadio Santiago Bernabeu on October 2, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN – OCTOBER 02: Isco of Real Madrid gets away from Dani Garcia of SD Eibar during the La Liga Match between Real Madrid CF and SD Eibar at estadio Santiago Bernabeu on October 2, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo courtesy Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Since his transfer to Madrid, Isco has never really been able to make a starting spot in the XI his own, though he continued to make key contributions for many of Real Madrid’s trophy winning runs. He has made a good start to the season, scoring a brace away to Real Betis in mid-October, and the manager will be hoping his fine form continues.


Cultural Leonesa 0-3 Real Madrid

The game should be a good commercial avenue for the third division outfit, however there’s little chance that Real Madrid won’t go on a rout on Wednesday.

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