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Primera División

  • October 5, 2013
  • • 2:00 PM
  • • Estadio Ciudad de Valencia, Valencia
  • Referee: José Luis González González
  • • Attendance: 24102
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La Liga Preview: Levante - Real Madrid

La Liga Preview: Levante - Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo y Angel Di María Real Madrid UEFA Champions League

Carlo Ancelotti's men are in dire need of a victory after falling five points behind Atletico and Barcelona following last weekend's derby defeat at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid will be keen to atone for its recent poor form when it travels to face Levante on Saturday.

In their last four trips to the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia, Los Blancos have won just once, although that came last season courtesy of a 2-1 triumph, which was sealed by a late Alvaro Morata goal. Prior to that, Madrid had not won - or even scored - on its previous three trips to the Ciutat de Valencia.

A win will hold even bigger significance for Carlo Ancelotti after last week's 1-0 home defeat to Atletico Madrid, the capital club's first league defeat of the 21st century to its city rival; however, spirits will have been lifted by a comfortable 4-0 victory over Copenhagen in the Champions League on Wednesday, sealed by doubles from Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria.

The game also marked Raphael Varane's first appearance since suffering a knee injury against Espanyol in May, and the France international, who also earned a recall to Didier Deschamps' national squad, was delighted to return.

"I'm very happy," Varane said. "I went a long time without playing and I was on the pitch for the entire 90 minutes which was a real pleasure. I worked very hard over the past few days in order to achieve this. I feel physically quite good and from now on I hope to play well."

Varane's comeback is a timely boost, with Pepe's availability uncertain after he suffered a nasty head cut against the Danish side. Xabi Alonso (foot) is definitely ruled out, while world-record signing Gareth Bale (thigh) will also play no part.

Levante is in strong form going into the clash, having lost just once all season, although that defeat was by a 7-0 scoreline at Barcelona. Since then, Joaquin Caparros' side has drawn four games and won twice, leaving the club ninth in the Liga table with 10 points.

Pape Diop could be a doubt for the hosts after missing midweek training with a knee injury, but Caparros is upbeat over the availability of Baba Diawara and David Navarro, who have recovered from a hamstring injury and illness, respectively.

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Head to Head
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La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ Oct 5, 2013 Levante 2 - Real Madrid 3
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La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ Apr 6, 2013 Real Madrid 5 - Levante 1
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La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ Nov 11, 2012 Levante 1 - Real Madrid 2
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La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ Feb 12, 2012 Real Madrid 4 - Levante 2
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-K. NavasGoalkeeper
3David NavarroDefender
5Héctor RodasDefender
12Juan García GarcíaDefender
19Pedro LópezDefender
-RubénMidfielder
-XumiMidfielder
-DiopMidfielder
-SimãoMidfielder
9Baba DiawaraStriker
25Andreas IvanschitzMidfielder
-Javi JiménezGoalkeeper
24Loukas VyntraDefender
-Nikos KarabelasDefender
-Issam El AdouaDefender
25Nabil El ZharMidfielder
7Sergio da Silva PintoMidfielder
-David BarralStriker
13Diego López RodríguezGoalkeeper
2Raphaël VaraneDefender
4Sergio RamosDefender
5Fabio CoentraoDefender
17ArbeloaDefender
6Sami KhediraMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
7Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
23IscoMidfielder
7Cristiano RonaldoStriker
9Karim BenzemaStriker
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
3PepeDefender
12MarceloDefender
15Daniel CarvajalDefender
24Asier IllarramendiMidfielder
20Jesé RodríguezStriker
29MorataStriker

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From the web