La Liga Preview: Real Madrid - Levante
Los Merengues will be out to avenge an embarrassing defeat to Juan Ignacio Martinez's side earlier this season when they walk out at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday
By Karthick Arvinth
Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao
Ozil, Kaka, Ronaldo
Venta, Ballesteros, Cabral, Del Horno
El Zhar, Barkero, Suarez
Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has been handed a boost ahead of Sunday's Primera Division clash with Levante, with key duo Sami Khedira and Angel Di Maria returning to full fitness.
Germany international Khedira has been missing from action since early January with an ankle injury, while Di Maria has been nursing a thigh problem and is yet to feature in 2012. Both players are expected to be named on the bench.
The game is likely to come too soon for left-back Marcelo, who has been struggling with a thigh problem, while Hamit Altintop (calf) is also out.
Levante duo Jose Javier Barkero and Asier del Horno could recover from injury in time to make the trip to the capital.
Defender Juanfran is struggling with a foot complaint and is unlikely to feature, while Xavi Torres is suspended.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid have not dropped a point in the league since December 10, when they lost 3-1 to Barcelona at the Bernabeu.
- Los Blancos are the only Primera Division club to have scored in every home game this campaign in all competitions.
- Real were named the richest club in the world for the seventh year running by accountancy firm Deloitte this week.
- Fourth-placed Levante, who notched a surprise 1-0 victory over Real in September, have not won in the league since December 10.
- The east coast club have lost all of their last eight away games in all competitions.
- Ivorian striker Arouna Kone (pictured) is Levante's leading scorer this season with nine goals.
|Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid CF 3-0 Levante
- 16.21 %
Real Madrid CF 4-0 Levante
- 12.01 %
Real Madrid CF 5-0 Levante
- 11.44 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 9, 2014||Real Madrid CF 3 - Levante 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Oct 5, 2013||Levante 2 - Real Madrid CF 3|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Apr 6, 2013||Real Madrid CF 5 - Levante 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Nov 11, 2012||Levante 1 - Real Madrid CF 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Feb 12, 2012||Real Madrid CF 4 - Levante 2|
|Real Madrid CF|
|Mar 9, 2014||Real Madrid CF 3 - Levante 0||LIGA|
|Mar 2, 2014||Atletico Madrid 2 - Real Madrid CF 2||LIGA|
|Feb 26, 2014||Schalke 04 1 - Real Madrid CF 6||UCL|
|Feb 22, 2014||Real Madrid CF 3 - Elche 0||LIGA|
|Feb 16, 2014||Getafe 0 - Real Madrid CF 3||LIGA|
|-||Asier Del Horno||Defender|
|22||Gustavo Daniel Cabral||Defender|
|25||Nabil El Zhar||Midfielder|
|12||Juan García García||Defender|
|-||Abdel Kader Ghezzal||Striker|
The Portuguese star has been in the spotlight in the past week amid rumours that he has grown disillusioned with life in the Spanish capital and is plotting a move back to England in the summer. While some sections of the Bernabeu faithful have questioned his attitude, there can be no doubt that the former Manchester United man remains the driving force behind Real's quest for a first league title in four years.
The Ivorian striker has excelled in the lone striker role this campaign and netted the winner against Real in the reverse fixture in September. The 28-year-old will have to keep up his goalscoring form if the Valencian club are to keep their push for European qualification on track.
Levante are without a win in the league in over two months and they desperately need a spark of inspiration from somewhere to reignite their season. The odds of them getting anything at the Bernabeu are very slim, especially with the league leaders in such imperious form.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed