Real Madrid will host Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu in the La Liga encounter on the 13th of May. Already crowned league champions Real Madrid will be hoping to return to winning ways when they welcome relegation-threatened Levante on their home turf on Thursday evening. Real Madrid are arriving into this match after suffering a defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid in the Madrid Derby the previous weekend. Meanwhile, Levante secured a massive 2-1 win over Real Sociedad which has boosted their hopes of staying up in the top flight in La Liga.
Heading into the Madrid Derby, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti made as many as seven changes to the starting 11 following their historic conquest of champions Manchester City in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final last week.
Yannick Carrasco gave Atletico Madrid the lead in the first half by converting his penalty from 12 yards out. It eventually ended up deciding the contest in the favour of Diego Simeone’s side who had a lot more riding on the balance of the game. A victory in that match helped Atletico massively in their push for the top four places in the league. On the other hand, Real Madrid had virtually nothing to lose as they had already pocketed the league title with a 4-0 win over Espanyol on April 30. For the moment, their complete focus is on the much anticipated Champions League final against Liverpool on May 28.
However, there is plenty of time left for the all-important final and before that, Carlo Ancelotti will have to balance between resting his side and keeping their players match fit over the next couple of weeks. It will be interesting to see how Real Madrid utilise their squad during the final three matches of the league season. Following the meeting against Levante at home, they will be taking on Cadiz and Real Betis.
It goes without saying that the champions Real Madrid have the best home record in Spain’s domestic league this season. They have picked up a total of 40 points from 17 games at the Santiago Bernabeu. Los Blancos will be hosting a Levante side that has the fourth worst away record in Spain’s top flight. However, the visitors will be much more desperate and hungry for a positive result here as they are battling for their right to stay in the Spanish top flight.
The last time these two sides clash against each other earlier this season, the newly crowned champions were held to an exciting 3-3 draw. Surprisingly, Real Madrid also suffered a shocking 1-0 loss against Levante in La Liga last season. Their last success at home over their opponents on Thursday evening was back in September 2019 and despite them firing on all cylinders, Ancelotti cannot afford to take Levante lightly here.
There will be no shortage of confidence in the Levante camp as they prepare to make the trip to the Spanish capital on Thursday. They are arriving into this clash on the back of a massive 2-1 success over Real Sociedad in their previous league fixture. In thrilling fashion, Gonzalo Melero’s 90th-minute penalty decided the contest in Valencia.
Alessio Lisci’s men are currently rooted at the bottom of the league table. They trail Cadiz in 17th place by six points and will need results to go their way in the final three matches to have any hope of avoiding relegation and staying up in the top flight. Being six points away from safety is not a comfortable scenario for Levante to be in while facing the league champions but they will have to do their bidding and come out on top because they have nothing more to lose.
Following the trip to Madrid, Levante will then welcome Alaves at home on May 15. The curtains will be drawn on their La Liga campaign, with the match away to Rayo Vallecano on May 22. There is a small glimmer of hope heading into the final fixed few fixtures, however. Levante have picked up four points from their last two matches against formidable opponents in Valencia and Real Sociedad and they will be hoping to build on that momentum.
The club from Valencia have spent just one season outside the Spanish top flight since 2010 which is why it will be surprising if they get relegated this season. Levante have managed to register just six wins in the league this season, which is the worst record among all the 20 teams. They also have the poorest defensive record in the Spanish topflight, having conceded goals on 67 occasions. Levante will be hoping for a miracle during these final few rounds of fixtures, which begins with a difficult trip to Madrid.
RMA vs LUD, La Liga 2021/22
Date: 13th May, 2022
Time: 1:00 AM IST
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
Real Madrid La Liga form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
Levante La Liga form:
Levante form (all competitions):
Real Madrid wins: 23
Levante wins: 6
Real Madrid Team News: The league leaders will continue to miss the services of Eden Hazard. Hazard’s blockbuster move from Chelsea to Real Madrid hasn’t worked out at all and he has spent most of his career with Real Madrid on the sidelines. Apparently, he has returned to training following a leg operation, but returning to the pitch continues to be a distant affair for the Belgian international.
Luka Jovic, Gareth Bale and Mariano Diaz are expected to miss out once again while midfielder Dani Ceballos has recovered from illness but will not be in contention here. Isco and Marcelo also missed out against Atletico Madrid in the previous game and will continue to be absent here.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti gambled when he played David Alaba in the first leg following his recent injury concerns. It did not pay off and he was subsequently, taken off at half-time at the Etihad Stadium. He was also an absentee in Madrid’s title party over Espanyol and didn’t play in the second leg against Manchester City either.
Dani Carvajal is likely to be rested while Marco Asensio has suffered an ankle injury and is also expected to be unavailable.
Head coach Carlo Ancelotti could make several changes to the starting XI that took to the field against Diego Simeone’s side in the last match. Federico Valverde, Vinicius Jr, Luka Modric, Ferland Mendy, Thibaut Courtois and Karim Benzema are all set to be reinstated back into the first team XI.
Ancelotti might be tempted to give the German midfield maestro a much-needed rest in midfield. Valverde will battle with Eduardo Camavinga for the starting spot. Rodrygo should keep his spot in the frontline partnering Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr following his brace of goals that helped achieve success against Manchester City and booked Real Madrid’s tickets to the final of the competition.
Levante Team News: Levante will be missing several key players on their trip to the Spanish capital. Roberto Soldado, Jorge de Frutos, Carlos Clerc, and Shkodran Mustafi have all been sidelined and will not be taking part in the fixture against the league champions.
The side from Valencia battling relegation did not pick up any fresh injury concerns in their previous outing against Real Sociedad. With that being said, however, there could be changes in midfield as Gonzalo Melero is likely to replace Jose Campana at the centre of the park.
Dani Gomes and ‘Commandante’ Jose Luis Morales will continue to lead the frontline in a 5-3-2 system. Jorge Miramon and Son are likely to feature as wing-backs for Levante against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Nacho, Mendy; Valverde, Casemiro, Modric; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius Jr
Levante possible starting lineup:
Cardenas; Miramon, Rober, Duarte, Vezo, Son; Radoja, Pepelu, Melero; D Gomez, Morales
Levante are fighting for their lives at the bottom of La Liga table. While getting points against Valencia and Real Sociedad is ideal preparation before their trip to Madrid, Levante continue to be at the bottom of the table and their changes of staying up in the Spanish top flight are dangling by a thread.
Real Madrid’s loss to Atletico Madrid in the previous clash will also put them under some kind of pressure although they are not in danger of missing out on anything. The returns of stars like Benzema and Modric could boost their chances to secure a positive result and they will be the favourites to pick up another three points here.