Real Madrid has a tenuous standing in La Liga and must win to strengthen its top-four place.

By 90Min
February 02, 2018

Levante entertain Real Madrid at the Ciutat de Valencia on Saturday evening, hoping to put a further dent in Los Blanco's faltering La Liga campaign.

After the enforced winter break, Zinedine Zidane's side have continued to struggle and are currently languishing in fourth place, an astonishing 19 points behind run away leaders Barcelona.

Despite the huge gulf between themselves and Barca, the Bernabeu club will be looking to create some momentum. Although reclaiming the league title now looks beyond them, reducing the gap and getting in to form, for the recommencement of the Champions League later this month remain their primary targets.

Meanwhile, Juan Muniz's Levante - only two points outside the relegation play off zone - will be desperate to gain three points in order to create some breathing space between themselves and Deportivo La Coruna. Winning games has proved a challenging proposition for Levante - winning just three games so far this season - but they have consistently proved during this campaign they are a difficult team to beat. 

Classic Encounter - Levante 2-3 Real Madrid (May 2013)

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a dramatic 94th-minute winner for the second successive away game, as Real Madrid got out of jail with a 3-2 victory at Levante.

After a goalless first half, the match sparked in to life as Papa Baba Diawara gave the home side the lead with a well taken half volley in the 57th minute. Nevertheless, order was swiftly restored as Madrid's captain Sergio Ramos equalised - four minutes later - with a far post volley from a well delivered corner by Angel Di Maria.

Levante struck again in the 86th minute through Nabil El Zhar. After his initial header had been saved by Diego Lopez, the follow up was tucked calmly out of the reach of the Spanish keeper. 

This ignited Madrid and substitute Alvaro Morata to again restore parity in the 90th minute with a clinical finish. Then, in the dying minutes of injury time a deflected strike from Ronaldo, which apologetically kissed the post as it went in to the net, triggered wild celebrations from the visitors.

It sealed another dramatic win for Los Blancos and broke the hearts of the Levante players and supporters. 

Key Battles

Oier Olazabal vs Cristiano Ronaldo

Olazabal is likely to have a busy game and will need an inspired performance in Levante's goal to keep Madrid's attacking threat at bay. 

Portuguese international Ronaldo seems to have rediscovered his domestic goal-scoring form over recent weeks, and will see this game as an ideal opportunity to improve on the eight goals he has scored in La Liga so far during this campaign. 

Shaq Moore vs Gareth Bale

U-20 American international defender Shaq Moore is likely to start in place of the suspended Rodriguez Benito in Levante's defense.  

The young defender has already played a handful of games this season, but is likely to be severely tested by Bale, who seems to be returning to his best form after a long spell out through injury. 

Having scored over recent weeks, the Welsh forward seems like a player that is extremely eager to make up for lost time. His presence, along with Benzema and Ronaldo make for a mouthwatering Madrid front three. 

Team News

Zinedine Zidane's side have no suspensions, however the French coach has a couple of injury concerns. Captain Sergio Ramos absence against Valencia due to a calf injury will mean that Nacho Fernandez will continue to deputize in defense. Isco is considered doubtful, but Karim Benzema should be fit enough to start in a very attacking front three.

Juan Muniz has a couple of players unavailable for selection due to injuries or suspension. Keeper Raul Fernandez is sidelined due to a long term hip injury. Striker Alex Alegria is also out due to a cruciate ligament rupture, and might miss the rest of the campaign. Rodriguez Benito ‘Chema’ is suspended for Saturday's match having accumulated five yellow cards.

Potential Levante Starting Lineup: Oier, Coke, Cabaco, Moore, Luna, Doukoure, Lerma, Jason, Campana, Morales, Ivi Lopez.

Potential Real Madrid Starting Lineup: Navas; Carvajal, Nacho, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Benzema, Bale, Ronaldo.


Despite Levante's dogged resolve shown throughout the season and their desperation for points, the lack of an attacking threat will restrict them in this fixture.

Compare that with the attacking menace of Welsh international Gareth Bale alongside Ronaldo, who seems reinvigorated and focused, then the visitors should run out comfortable winners.

Levante 0-2 Real Madrid

You May Like