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Primera División

  • November 11, 2012
  • • 20:30
  • • Estadio Ciudad de Valencia, Valencia
  • Referee: César Muñiz Fernández
  • • Attendance: 20805
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Levante - Real Madrid Preview: Blancos hope to halt winless run at Ciutat de Valencia

Levante - Real Madrid Preview: Blancos hope to halt winless run at Ciutat de Valencia

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A record of two defeats and a draw in their last three away matches against Los Granotes does not bode well for Jose Mourinho's side as they look to close the gap on Barcelona

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

LEVANTE

Munua
Lopez, Ballesteros, Navarro, Juanfran
Diop, Iborra
Rios, Barkero, Juanlu
Martins
REAL MADRID

Casillas
Ramos, Varane, Pepe, Arbeloa
Essien, Alonso
Di Maria, Modric, Ozil
Ronaldo

Levante could have winger Nabil El Zhar available for Sunday's Primera Division encounter with Real Madrid at the Ciutat de Valencia. The Morocco international missed their last three games with a calf problem but has returned to light training and is almost certain to make the bench.

Gustavo Munua will return in goal after being rested for Thursday's Europa League clash with Twente, while midfielder Dariusz Dudka (groin) is sidelined.

Meanwhile, Madrid are without both Gonzalo Higuain, who was ruled out for three weeks with a hamstring injury sustained in the 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund, and Karim Benzema, who is also sidelined with a muscle strain. As a result, Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to be deployed as the lone centre-forward.

Sami Khedira and Marcelo are still out, but Fabio Coentrao (groin) may return, while Xabi Alonso is available after serving a one-match ban against Zaragoza.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Levante are on a three-match winless run in all competitions and have failed to score in that sequence.
  • However, the Valencian club have won their last seven home matches across all competitions and are unbeaten at the Ciutat de Valencia this season.
  • Sixth-placed Levante will move level on points with their opponents in the Primera Division table with victory on Sunday.
  • Real Madrid have won just two of their last five away matches in La Liga (W2 D1 L2).
  • Los Merengues have failed to win on their last three visits to Levante in all competitions (D1 L2).
  • Mesut Ozil (pictured) became the 12th Madrid player to score this season with his late equaliser against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-Gustavo MunúaGoalkeeper
3David NavarroDefender
12Juan García GarcíaDefender
18BallesterosDefender
19Pedro LópezDefender
-BarkeroMidfielder
25Nabil El ZharMidfielder
10IborraMidfielder
8JuanluMidfielder
-DiopMidfielder
9Obafemi MartinsStriker
-K. NavasGoalkeeper
5Héctor RodasDefender
2Christian LellDefender
14Pedro RíosStriker
24MíchelMidfielder
-RubénMidfielder
-ÁngelStriker
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
3PepeDefender
4Sergio RamosDefender
5Fabio CoentraoDefender
17ArbeloaDefender
11Mesut ÖzilMidfielder
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
-Michael EssienMidfielder
22Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
7C. RonaldoStriker
7José Callejón Striker
1AdànGoalkeeper
2Raphaël VaraneDefender
33Raúl Albiol Defender
18Nacho FernándezDefender
19Luka ModricMidfielder
8KakáMidfielder
21MorataStriker
Players to Watch
Obafemi Martins
Obafemi Martins
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The former Inter and Newcastle star is hoping to resurrect his career in Spain after a couple of fruitless years in the Russian league with Rubin Kazan. And the move appears to have paid off, with Martins recently earning a recall to play for Nigeria in a friendly against Venezuela next week after having netted four goals in six games for Levante.
Mesut Özil
Mesut Özil
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
After a few underwhelming performances early on in the season, the 24-year-old produced a moment of magic as his exquisite free kick salvaged a 2-2 draw for Madrid at home to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday. Ozil will now hope to kick on and provide more penetration to an attack that has at times struggled to carve out clear-cut chances.
Prediction
Both teams had difficult matches in Europe during the week and could struggle to raise their game on Sunday. But it is difficult to look past Real, who, despite missing some key personnel, still possess enough firepower to down the hosts.
Editor's Prediction

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