Real Madrid will seek to keep their top of the table position as they host courageous Levante, a modest team that is fighting to earn a spot in next season’s Europa League.
The Valencia based team have only earned three points in their eight visits to the Santiago Bernabeu. It was thanks to a 0-1 victory in 2007, when they took the win home thanks to a penalty scored by Salva Ballesta.
This time, it seems more difficult for Levante to take any points. With Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in great scoring form, Los Merengues forward line looks unstoppable.
Despite Levante being famous for their great defensive performances –in fact, they’ve only conceded 31 goals this season, only five more than Madrid– the dimensions of the Santiago Bernabeu will not favour their tight-defence style. In fact, in their last five visits to Los Blancos stadium, they have conceded 21 goals, more than four per game.
Carlo Ancelotti’s only doubt for the game will be Pepe, who missed Portugal’s game against Cameroon due to a fever. Raphael Varane, who played the whole 90 minutes for France against Holland on Wednesday, could replace him in the starting line-up.
Meanwhile, Joaquin Caparros will have serious trouble in midfield, as he will miss regular starters Pape Diop and Simao Mate due to suspension. Former Liverpool player Mohamed Sissoko could make it in the starting XI despite his lack of fitness, having only played one match since he arrived in January. Victor Casadesus will be also sidelined after being shown a red card against Osasuna.
Real Madrid: Lopez; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Alonso, Di Maria; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Levante: Navas; Lopez, Vyntra, Navarro, Juanfran, Karabelas; Sissoko, Pinto; Garcia, Barral, Ivanschitz.