Leganes vs Real Madrid - Prediction, Betting Odds & Picks

  • Real Madrid is the champion of Spain once again after its midweek triumph
  • Zinedine Zidane has once again demonstrated that he is an excellent manager
  • Leganes is in desperate need of the points as it battles against relegation
What Leganes vs Real Madrid
Where Estadio Municipal de Butarque, Leganes, Spain
When Sunday, 19 July 2020, 3 PM EST
How to watch beIN SPORTS

If Real Madrid ever releases a film about its 2019/20 La Liga title triumph (which, given the regularity of the club’s successes, is unlikely), it will not be able to use Frank Sinatra for the soundtrack. Madrid, a club synonymous with glitz, glamour, and attack-minded soccer did not do it their way.

That is not intended as a slight. In fact, it only makes its victory more impressive. Madrid lost the club’s greatest ever player in 2018 as Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus. Zidane also walked away that summer, only to return in March of last year.

Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic, acquired before the start of this season to bolster the attack, have barely featured this term. Karim Benzema has stepped up to the plate brilliantly, relishing the chance to take center stage after spending so many years in Ronaldo’s shadow, but above all else, Madrid owes its success to its defensive solidity.

The title was secured courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Villarreal on Thursday. Vicente Iborra’s goal in the 83rd minute denied Madrid a 20th clean sheet of the campaign, but it has still registered more shut-outs than any other team in the division this term, with opponents managing to find the net in only 48.6 percent of Madrid’s matches. On top of that, the newly-crowned champion has conceded just 23 goals, three fewer than the next-best Atletico Madrid.

Such statistics demonstrate what a tough task Leganes faces this weekend. Even a victory over Madrid might not be enough to keep it in the league, with Celta Vigo holding a one-point advantage going into the final day. Leganes must beat Madrid to have any chance of staying up, but its hopes are likely to be dashed by the relentless machine Zidane has created.

Leganes vs Real Madrid Odds

Match result and both teams to score Odds
Real Madrid and No +333
Real Madrid and Yes +375
Leganes and Yes +400

Odds taken from bet365.

Madrid’s defensive record since the restart is magnificent, but it has now conceded in its last two games. With the title in the bag, it may open up and play with a bit more abandon than we have seen in the last month or so.

Leganes also has reason to push forward, although it will not go gung-ho from the first whistle and risk throwing the match away early on. Madrid will want to finish on a high and should grab its 27th victory, but back Leganes to find the back of the net at least once.

Madrid Discovers Grit and Steel to Record Uncharacteristic Triumph

Even when it was winning three Champions Leagues in a row under Zidane, Madrid was not readily associated with qualities such as discipline, diligence and defensive solidity. The emphasis was very much on attack, as demonstrated by some of the aggregate scorelines in continental competition during that time: 6-3 vs Bayern Munich, 4-3 vs Juventus, 4-3 vs Bayern.

It is also notable that Madrid generally struggled in La Liga despite its Champions League victories in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Indeed, this is only its third title since 2008, and neither of the two previous successes was built on a well-drilled backline. Indeed, Madrid has not ended a campaign with the best defensive record in La Liga for 12 years, and it has not even finished in the top two in that category since 2012.

There have been plenty of instances of attacking quality throughout los Blancos’ campaign, but this title will be remembered primarily for the team’s character, resolve, determination and defensive quality.

Leganes Looking to Pull off One of Spanish Soccer’s Greatest Escapes

Leganes looked dead and buried at the start of the month. A 3-0 home defeat by Sevilla in game week 33 appeared to condemn Javier Aguirre’s side to relegation, but the club is now potentially just one win away from pulling off one of the greatest escapes in Spanish top-flight history.

Since that seemingly season-defining setback against Sevilla, Leganes has registered four consecutive clean sheets and taken 10 points from a possible 12. It has been a remarkable run but may nevertheless be a case of too little, too late. One point behind Celta Vigo in 17th place, its inferior goal difference means Leganes must beat Madrid and hope already-demoted Espanyol denies its relegation rival a victory at the RCDE Stadium.

Madrid’s Level Unlikely to Drop as It Targets Winning End to Season

Over in the Premier League, we have seen Liverpool’s form drop off since it was confirmed as champion. Leganes will hope Madrid experiences something similar, but the fact that there is just one game remaining should ensure Zidane’s side are fully focused on the task at hand.

Madrid’s preparation for this match may not have been as intense as normal, but that is unlikely to matter. Despite Leganes’ miraculous recent run, this will surely be a bridge too far.

Our Pick

Take the Real Madrid and Yes option here – Leganes’ need to win should see it score, but avoiding defeat by such a good team is a big ask.

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Greg Lea

Expert on Soccer

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]