- Bleacher Report’s Gianni Verschueren previews the Saturday’s encounter
“La Liga has just two teams with a perfect record after two matchdays, as Spanish giants Barcelona and Real lead the field. Leganes have struggled out of the gates with a defeat and a draw against Athletic Club Bilbao and Real Sociedad, respectively, and now face a difficult trip to the Bernabeu.
“The two clubs have already met twice at the iconic ground in 2018, and in the first of those two clashes in January, the visitors shocked everyone to secure a spot in the next round of the Copa del Rey. Three months later, Real got some revenge in a narrow 2-1 La Liga win, in which they used a number of backup players.
“Manager Julen Lopetegui has the team on the right track after plenty of question marks emerged in the summer. The departures of Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo had many fans asking where the squad was headed, and the loss to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA European Super Cup didn’t help matters. So far, though, Los Blancos have played well in La Liga, scoring six goals in their first two matches. Their ball movement has been excellent―perhaps no surprise given Lopetegui’s reputation―and a lack of an ace striker hasn’t held the side back.
“Leganes have given Real a number of scares in the past few years, with several closely fought derbies, but they have just one win in the last six matchups between the two to show for it. Individual quality often wins out when these two sides meet, and don’t expect that to change this weekend.”
- 90min.com’s Joe Owens with the latest team news
“Jesus Vallejo is set to be welcomed back into Lopetegui’s matchday squad for the visit of Leganes after overcoming a muscular injury, although it is unlikely the 21-year-old will feature from the outset.
“Neither Raphael Varane nor the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year winner Luka Modric have been able to recapture their starting spots from Zidane’s tenure under their new coach as of yet following their respective World Cup exploits, with speculation suggesting that both could be eyeing pastures new before the end of the European summer transfer window.