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Real Madrid vs Girona, 2019 Copa del Rey Quarterfinals: Match Preview, Team Updates

Real Madrid should try to keep a clean sheet here.

Real Madrid vs Melilla - Copa del Rey - Fourth Round Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid host Girona in what will be the first leg of the Copa del Rey Quarterfinals. This domestic competition is quite possibly the most realistic chance Los Blancos will have to win a trophy this season, even if it’s not the most important one. Solari’s men are already 10 points behind Barcelona in La Liga table and they have not been reliable enough to consider them a candidate to defend their Champions League title, so the Argentinian coach and the rest of the coaching staff should take this competition very seriously.

Girona have been decent this season but they have not won a single game since December 5th, so Real Madrid should be considered the favorites to win not only this game but also the tie and advance to the next round of the competition quite comfortably.

All in all, Solari could probably try to take advantage of this manageable matchup and make some rotations. Players like Llorente —who has recovered from his injury—, Odriozola, Nacho or Ceballos could get significant minutes but the most important thing for Madrid will be to keep a clean sheet, given the importance of away goals.

Girona are not particularly brilliant in front of goal but they do a solid job defensively. They will probably sit back and wait for some counterattacking opportunities to develop or even set pieces. Real Madrid have struggled converting and creating chances and if they can’t score early, Girona will defend with confidence and try to keep it very close for the return leg at Montilivi.

Team updates

Toni Kroos, Marcos Llorente and Mariano Diaz all completed Wednesday’s training session with their teammates, meaning that they’ve recovered from their injuries and that they should be available to play this game. On the other hand, Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Jesus Vallejo and Keylor Navas are still injured and will not be involved.

Projected lineups

Real Madrid projected XI: Courtois, Odriozola, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Llorente, Modric, Ceballos, Vazquez, Vinicius, Benzema.

Girona projected XI: Bono, Albala, Espinosa, Juanpe, Porro, Pons, Garcia, Fernandez, Portu, Garcia, Doumbia.

Solari’s quotes

“They are a strong team, they are quick offensively and solid on set pieces. They’re strong defensively but we must focus on our own job in order to repeat what we did well against Sevilla, or even previously against Celta, Valencia, Plzen or Roma. But our solid performance against Sevilla is what we should try to replicate.”


Date: 01/24/2019

Time: 21:30 CEST, 03:30pm EST, 12:30pm Pacific.

Venue: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain.

Available TV: BeIN Sports (USA), TVE 1 (Spain).

Available Streaming: BeIN Sports (USA), Fubo.TV (EVERY Real Madrid game with a high-quality and legal stream, click here to sign up and benefit from a discount for new members).

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