La Liga Santander is back this weekend after an eventful first matchweek. We saw the Spanish top-flight league kicking off to a bright start after a long break of two and a half months. Fans are finally returning to the stadiums and it’s indeed such a delight to have them back. And they are set to witness a thrilling clash on Sunday night. Real Madrid lock horns with Levante at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia in the second match of their campaign. The 34-time Spanish champions will be aiming to make it two away wins in a row when they face Levante today. They had a perfect start to their new season as they comfortably brushed aside Alaves with a complete astounding performance. Ancelotti and his men would definitely want the momentum to carry along with them as they prepare to face PacoLopez’s side.
Levante, contrastingly, finished 14th in the 2020-21 LaLiga season and would be hoping for a better finish this time. They have had a good squad around them and nothing less than a top 10 ending won’t suit them. Paco Lopez will have a task cut out when he faces a weakened Madrid squad at home this week. No doubt, they will learn from their last frustrating draw against Cadiz and give a much-improved show. Let’s see who gets the better of the other in this wonderful fixture between these LaLiga sides.
Why to watch out for
There is absolutely no reason in the world that can keep you out from watching such an important fixture. The men in white jersey will be fighting it out with the men in red-and-blue for a win tonight. It is of no wonder that the Madrid giants won’t have an easy job to perform at the weekend. Levante would certainly offer them a strong fight and a competitive match is up on the table for the spectators. And you just can’t afford to miss such enjoyable clashes if you are following Spanish Football. Madrid will be going all out for their 35th title this season after narrowly missing it out last time. Consistency will be the key for DonCarlo’s men as they hope to continue on with a good run of away results. Everyone is keen to see how the team fares post the Ramos and Zidane era.
Levante, also, would want to get over with their average show over the years since they arrived at LaLiga in 2017. This time around, a lot of people are hoping that they might challenge for a top 10 spot. They have a really appreciable team and on their day, they can stun quality oppositions too. For now, Paco Lopez’s boys have a big match to focus on against Real. Both sides will undoubtedly offer a well-contested rivalry on the pitch. The match is scheduled to get kicked off at 20:00 GMT or 1:30 IST.
The Los Blancos are coming onto this match after sealing a convincing 4-1 win against Alaves in their first fixture. It was a brilliant performance on all departments by Ancelotti’s men as they returned with a near-perfect score. The first half was a cagey affair in the game in which the home side showed some attacking intent. Madrid also brought up some quality attacks but was unable to find the back of the net. But they made up for that with a scintillating performance in the second half. A handsome brace from Karim Benzema and strikes from Nacho and Vinicius earned them a well-deserved win. Luka Modric, Fede Valverde and David Alaba were quite excellent against the El Gloriosos. They maintained almost 60% of the possession in the game and took a whopping 19 shots at the opposition goal.
In all, it was a credible show from each and every player on the team. The only thing to be sorted out for now is the lack of communication and marking among the back four. If it gets rectified, this side is destined to go on a long winning streak. Ancelotti has all the fireworks in him to turn Madrid into a trophy-collecting side once after two below-par seasons. Against Levante, we hope that the team comes up with a more impressive performance and grasps a win.
Whenever it comes to injuries, Real Madrid always remains on the top of the list. Last season they also suffered a record 63 injuries in the first team. Ahead of the Levante game, Ancelotti is missing some key players. Ferland Mendy and Marcelo haven’t recovered from their previous injury yet and remain sidelined. Star midfielder Toni Kroos will be out till the international breaking account of his muscular injury. Luka Modric did have minor discomfort in training and he is missing the trip to Levante. Dani Ceballos has not yet got up from the injury he picked up in the Olympics. In a boost to Ancelotti, Dani Carvajal will return to the side. Other than these, there are no known injury concerns in the team
Players to watch out for
The Frenchman has been in prolific form for the Los Blancos since last season. He has been the main man for Madrid whenever it comes to scoring goals upfront for them. With over 30 goals in the previous season, Benzema is the player whom Ancelotti can depend upon in big matches. Fresh from netting a brace in the first match, he will be looking his polish his scoring boots once again when his team squares off against Levante today.
The Austrian is one of the best signings that Madrid has made in the past years. Not talking so early but he has already started to show glimpses of his talent on the field. He registered an assist in the first match and will be willing to increase his tally. Alaba is a multi-utility player who can be used in different positions in the team and this increases his pedigree. If Madrid is to farewell, he has to come up with a solid performance on the show.
The Frogs are going to play this match after having a disappointing outing against Cadiz the previous weekend. They played out a dull 1-1 draw against Cadiz in their first game of the season. Jose Morales’s 39th-minute opener was canceled out by an Alphonso Espino strike in the dying minutes of the game. They were leading until the 96th minute and squandered it thereafter by conceding a silly goal. The Granites did well throughout the match to keep 57% of the ball but were able to register only 3shots on target. A total of 12 shots were taken and this clearly shows they lacked the edge in the attacking third.
Paco Lopez definitely has to address this major concern in the attack. Otherwise, they were the dominant side in the match only before doing that error to concede in the 97th minute. It is hoped that they will learn from their horrendous mistakes and rectify it before proceeding further in the season. Levante is aside, who on any given day can take the game away from the big oppositions. They did it on previous occasions frequently and need to repeat some of their deeds now to stun Madrid. Surely, a solid show on the stage is expected from the Red and the Blues tonight. Let’s see if they can live up to the expectations and present us with an evenly balanced contest.
The frogs also have a few players ruled out of the fixture due to injuries. They will be without young sensation Alex Blesa, center-back Sergio Postigo, attacker Dani Gomez and veteran Spain international Roberto Soldado. Apart from these players, Paco Lopez will have a full squad available to choose his starting XI.
Key Players For Levante for this clash
Jose Luis Morales
The veteran Spanish striker is still on the top of his form in matters of scoring goals for his team. Last season he also finished as his team’s highest scorer with 14 goals. He always breaks the deadlock whenever his team needs him the most. A very reliable man, Lopez would hope that Morales remains in good touch against a tough opponent in Real Madrid.
Jorge De Frutos
The former Madrid academy player is in the form of his life since joining Levante from Rayo Vallecano. He is one of the best playmakers in the LaLiga right now and his stats provide testimony to his talent. Last season too, he registered 4 goals and 11 assists in only 24 stars. No wonder that he is one of the bright young Prodigy for Levante and his performance will affect the result too. He will definitely be eager to score against his parent team and prove them a point.
In all respects, this match is going to be an enticing and enthralling one for the watchers. Both the teams will fight it out to bring home all three points. Unquestionably, it will be an interesting battle on the field between the two teams. Expect a fierce and breathtaking encounter to occur at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia. Tighten your seat belts to watch the game which could be lit up Sunday night!
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