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Real Madrid-Melilla Copa Del Rey 2018 Match Preview, Injuries/Suspensions, Potential XIs, Prediction

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Santiago Solari’s debut match as Real Madrid interim manager

Real Madrid CF v SL Benfica - UEFA Youth League Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Match Preview

The first match as interim manager of Santiago Solari’s career will take place on Wednesday in Melilla at the Estadio Álvarez Claro. Real Madrid will be making the trip to the North African coast for this match, where the Spanish autonomous city of Melilla is. Melilla are currently second in Group 4 of Segunda Division B.

Real Madrid are of course coming off a devastating loss in El Clásico over the weekend and the sacking of their manager Julen Lopetegui. It’ll be tough going into Wednesday’s match and knowing how they’ll play under Solari, but this is the match to figure everything out. Even though it is a Copa Del Rey match, Melilla is still a team Real should be able to beat, at least normally.

Solari needs this win, not only because Real Madrid should be beating Melilla, but also because there are many questioning him. After a disappointing season with Castilla last season finishing 8th, all eyes will be on his ability to adapt to a LaLiga side, at least for the next two weeks.

Injuries/Suspensions

Lot of names have been added to the injury list, with obviously Carvajal still being out. Jesus Vallejo is injured again, this time a muscular injury in his thigh. Marcelo and Mariano are also out with injury, MARCA is reporting they will likely be out until after the international break, which starts November 14th. Varane also suffered a leg injury against Barcelona, he is reportedly out several weeks.

Melilla are without forward Nacho Aznar, who has been out of action since April.

Potential XIs

Real Madrid

Navas; Odriozola, Nacho, Ramos, Reguilón; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Asensio, Benzema

Navas has been the starter for the Champions League, he may be the starter for the Copa Del Rey matches as well. It is sort of a guess at this point how Solari will alternate Courtois and Navas.

With Varane and Vallejo both out, Nacho is the only other centerback available for Real. This means that Odriozola likely gets a start in Carvajal’s place. Reguilón should fill in for Marcelo at left back.

No Mariano means Benzema certainly gets another start. Isco played in El Clásico for a full 90, which may mean Asensio starts back on the left side.

Melilla

Barrio; Pepe, Richi, Aguza, Torres; Ortega, Garrido; García, Otegui, Ruano; Qasmi

Prediction

Real Madrid-Melilla 3-1

Real have to win this, there’s just no excuses. Even though Solari is a new manager and they’ll be fairly unfamiliar with him, they have to beat a Segunda Division B side. There’s also obviously a ton of injuries, primarily to the back end, but they still have some quality replacements.

A win would be a great start to Solari’s tenure, though his “true” test comes in LaLiga against Valladolid this weekend. This’ll be an interesting match to watch, primarily to see how they play under Solari, one Real need to get something positive from after the disaster that was El Clásico on Sunday.