Preview: Levante vs. Real Madrid – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s La Liga clash between Levante and Real Madrid, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Real Madrid will be looking to move onto six points from two La Liga matches when they continue their 2021-22 campaign away to Levante on Sunday night.

Los Blancos opened their new season with an impressive 4-1 victory away to Alaves last weekend, while Levante played out a 1-1 draw with Cadiz in their first match of the campaign.

Match preview

Levante head coach Paco Lopez pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Levante are operating in their fifth straight season at this level of football, posting finishes of 15th, 15th, 12th and 14th since earning promotion back to the top flight for the 2017-18 campaign.

Paco Lopez‘s side reached the semi-finals of last season’s Copa del Rey, but they struggled for consistency in the league and were only seven points clear of the bottom three come the end of the campaign.

The Frogs were close to picking up an opening-night win over Cadiz last Friday, with Jose Luis Morales‘s 39th-minute goal separating the two sides entering the final stages of the contest, but the Yellow Submarine came up with a 97th-minute equalizer to secure a share of the spoils.

Levante have managed to bring Enric Franquesa and Roberto Soldado to the club this summer, while the likes of Tono Garcia, Cheick Doucoure and Ruben Rochina have moved on.

Lopez’s team recorded a 2-1 victory over Los Blancos when the two teams last met in January, while they also ran out 1-0 winners in the corresponding match during the 2019-20 campaign.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring against Alaves in La Liga on August 14, 2021© Reuters

Real Madrid, meanwhile, opened their new La Liga season with an impressive 4-1 win at Alaves last Saturday, with Karim Benzema, Nacho and Vinicius Junior on the scoresheet for Carlo Ancelotti‘s side.

Los Blancos reached the semi-finals of last season’s Champions League and finished second in La Liga, just two points behind champions Atletico Madrid, and it is set to be another fascinating battle for the title, with all three of the favorites, including Barcelona, posting wins on the opening weekend.

Real Madrid only actually lost four league matches last term, but three of those arrived before the end of November, which ultimately cost them; it has been a summer of change, with key figures in the shape of Raphael Varane, Zinedine Zidane and Sergio Ramos moving on, but there is still a seriously talented squad at the Bernabeu.

The fateful start to the season, on paper at least, is favorable, with matches against Real Betis, Celta Vigo, Valencia and Mallorca to come before a home game against Villarreal at the end of September. October, meanwhile, will bring the first Clasico of the season, as Los Blancos visit Barcelona.

Real Madrid were excellent on their travels last season, picking up 42 points from 19 matches, and their performance against Alaves last time out would certainly have raised confidence in the camp.

Levante La Liga form:

Real Madrid La Liga form:

Team News

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale in action with Deportivo Alaves' Pere Pons in La Liga on August 14, 2021© Reuters

Levante are expected to be without the services of Sergio Postigo, Alex Blesa, Dani Gomez and Soldado on Sunday evening through injury.

Postigo and Blesa were both absent against Cadiz, while Gomez and Soldado picked up problems on the opening weekend of the new season, so Lopez will need to make alterations for this contest.

There could be a change to a 3-4-3 formation for the home side, with Roger Marti being joined in the final third of the field by Jorge de Frutos and Morales.

As for Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy, Dani Ceballos, Toni Kroos and Dani Carvajal are again absent through injury, while Luka Modric picked up a thigh problem in training on Friday and is now set to miss out.

Marcelo remains a doubt, meaning that David Alaba could continue at left-back, with Eder Militao and Nacho operating as the two central defenders.

Gareth Bale will seemingly have an important role for the capital giants this term, and the Wales international is expected to start in a front three with Benzema and Eden Hazard.

Casemiro and Federico Valverde are certain to feature in central midfield, and the absences of Modric and Kroos could open the door for Isco to feature in the starting XI.

Levante possible starting lineup:
Fernandez; flick, Rober, Duarte; Son, Campana, Melero, Clerc; De Frutos, Marti, Morales

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Vazquez, Nacho, Militao, Alaba; Valverde, Casemiro, Isco; Bale, Benzema, Hazard

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We say: Levante 1-2 Real Madrid

Levante have beaten Real Madrid in two of the last three La Liga meetings between the two teams, and the home side are capable of making this a tricky assignment. We are expecting a tight match on Sunday evening but believe that Ancelotti’s side will have enough to pick up an important three points.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5: data

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