LaLiga Matchweek 21 preview: Real Madrid vs. Levante (Sat - 16:15h. CET; 15:15h. GMT) - Team news, possible lineups

Real Madrid will be looking to make it back-to-back victories in Spain's top flight when they continue their 2020-21 campaign at home to Levante on Saturday afternoon.

Zinedine Zidane's side recorded a 4-1 win over Alaves last weekend to move onto 40 points in the table, but they are still seven points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid, who also have a game in hand.

Match preview

Madrid entered last weekend's contest with Alaves off the back of successive defeats to Athletic Bilbao in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup and third-tier side Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey.

Los Blancos, who were under David Bettoni's leadership due to Zidane's absence through coronavirus, returned to winning ways at Estadio de Mendizorroza, though, with Casemiro, Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard all on the scoresheet during an impressive performance by the Spanish champions.

Zidane's side are second in the table but sit seven points behind leaders Atletico, who also have a game in hand, which is an indication of their strength at the summit at this stage of the campaign.

Madrid now have five straight league matches against Levante, Huesca, Getafe, Valencia and Real Valladolid before travelling to Atalanta BC in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League contest.

The capital giants simply have to keep winning and hope that Atletico drop points, but Levante have been victorious in two of the last five league meetings between the two sides, including a 2-1 success at the Bernabeu in October 2018.

Levante, meanwhile, were in Copa del Rey action on Tuesday night and progressed to the quarter-final stage of the competition courtesy of a 4-2 win over fellow top-flight side Valladolid.

Paco Lopez's side have drawn their last two in the league against Cadiz and Valladolid, while they have actually only lost one of their last seven in Spain's top flight during a strong run of form.

A total of 23 points from 19 matches has left the Frogs in 12th position in the table, just one point behind ninth-placed Athletic Bilbao, and the club might well be eyeing a top-half finish in the division this term.

Levante, who beat Madrid on home soil in the league last season, have finished 15th, 15th and 12th in their three campaigns since returning to this level of football, but they have not managed to claim a top-half position since posting 10th in 2013-14.

Real Madrid La Liga form: WWDWDW
Real Madrid form (all competitions): DWDLLW

Levante La Liga form: DWLWDD
Levante form (all competitions): WWWDDW

Team News

Madrid will again be without the services of Rodrygo Goes and Federico Valverde on Saturday through injury, while Nacho is still unavailable after testing positive for coronavirus.

Lucas Vazquez has also emerged as a doubt, having not trained alongside his teammates on Wednesday, but Dani Carvajal is available after a knock and should return to the starting XI.

Sergio Ramos is again unlikely to be involved as he bids to recover from injury, meaning that Eder Militaoshould again get the nod alongside Raphael Varane in the middle of the defence, while Marco Asensio is expected to again join Hazard and Benzema as part of a front three.

Levante will be without the services of Jorge de Frutos, Nikola Vukcevic and Jose Campana through injury this weekend, but the visitors did not pick up any fresh issues against Valladolid in the Copa del Rey.

There will be changes to the side that started in the cup on Tuesday evening, with Nemanja Radoja, Jose Luis Morales, Dani Gomez and Roger Marti among those expected to return to the XI.

Oscar Duarte will also be back in the middle of the defence, but the likes of Ruben Vezo and Mickael Malsa should keep their spots, while De Frutos's absence could see Son feature in a midfield area.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Varane, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Benzema, Hazard

Levante possible starting lineup:
Fernandez; Miramon, Duarte, Vezo, Clerc; Son, Radoja, Malsa, Morales; D Gomez, Marti

Source: Sports Mole / Matt Law 





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