Solari wants to see intensity against minnows Melilla

Real Madrid’s head coach Santiago Solari expects which ever side he picks to play with intensity against Melilla in the second leg of their Copa del Rey tie.

Solari was taking charge of his first game as temporary boss when Real cruised to a 4-0 win in the away leg against the third-tier side at the end of October.

The two sides meet again at the Bernabeu Stadium on Thursday and Solari has since been appointed as Julen Lopetegui’s permanent replacement. He has won six of his seven games in charge.

“All players in the squad, plus the guys from the Castilla squad who can play are working with intensity, enthusiasm and they’re excited,” Solari told a press conference. “That’s what we all want to see out on the field against Melilla.

“The first leg was very good because we put in a very good performance with a good attitude and intensity, against a team that play very good football and are top of their group in Segunda B.

“That division is very underestimated and there are teams that play very good football.”

Solari was giving little away in terms of team selection, but Castilla players Javi Sanchez, Fidalgo and Cristo have been included in his squad.

It remains to be seen if Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric will be rested, but Solari was full of praise for the Croatia midfielder.

“It’s Modric’s year,” Solari added. “The focus has to be on him. He’s had a wonderful year and he’s given everything to Real Madrid and his national team.

“It comes at a time of maturity in his career. It seems to me that at that age it’s more beautiful because he can truly value it. We’re all very happy with his prize.”

Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, Alvaro Odriozola and Cristo were all on target for Real in the first leg, while Melilla have since won all five of their league games and hold a five-point lead at the top of their Segunda B group.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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