Real Madrid vs Levante Preview: How to Watch, Recent Form, Team News, Key Battle & More

?On Saturday, Real Madrid host Levante in La Liga as Los Blancos look to get back on track after a run of poor results.

Julen Lopetegui’s side sit fourth in the league and will expect to return to winning ways after failing to win all of their last four games in all competitions. 

Eleventh placed Levante, meanwhile, will hope to capitalise on Madrid’s recent run of poor form.

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The preview for the match can be found below.

?When? Saturday 20 October? @ 12.00PM (BST)
?Where? ?Santiago Bernabeu
?How Can I Watch It? ?Eleven Sports

Recent Form

?Real Madrid, much like ?Barcelona, are going through an unprecedented run of poor form leading into this fixture. Before their much needed international break, Madrid had failed to win – or even score – in four games. 

These fixtures included a 3-0 away drubbing from Valencia, a draw at home with close rivals ?Atletico Madrid, a Champions League defeat by CSKA Moscow, and then a last gasp 1-0 loss to Alaves. 

Deportivo Alaves v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander

Madrid’s last goal came from Marco Asensio in a 1-0 win over Espanyol back on 22 September. Goals were always going to be a tricky to come by when Cristiano Ronaldo left for ?Juventus in the summer, and it seems that the players he left behind in the Spanish capital aren’t quite ready to step forward out of his colossal shadow just yet. 

Levante come into this game in much higher spirits than Real. Sitting 11th in the league, the side from Valencia have won each of their last two La Liga fixtures. 

They beat Getafe 1-0 away from home and the week before they managed a 2-1 victory over Alaves. They’ve looked steady this season and might be quietly confident of adding to Real’s recent woes. 

Levante UD v Deportivo Alaves - La Liga


Key Battle

Luka Modric vs José Campaña

Croatian midfield master Modric has had a wonderful past few years. He came into the 2018/19 season off the back of winning the Champions League with Real and leading his national team to a World Cup final.

Rightly named in the best player in Russia in the summer, Modric might even been given the game’s greatest individual prize this year, with many tipping him to pip former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona rival Lionel Messi to the coveted Ballon d’Or.

But it’s smaller league ties such as these where Madrid will need Modric’s focus if they want to return to winning ways. Having yet to score this season and only registering one assist, it’s fair to say Modric has a slight World Cup hangover, but that’s not to say he’s been particularly poor by any stretch of the imagination – at times he has still dictated games for Los Blancos.

Pre-Season Friendly'SC Heerenveen v Levante UD'

Having featured in all eight of Levante’s league matches this season, José Campaña is a crucial member of Paco López’s midfield. The former Crystal Palace man will have to work hard to pressure Modric in possession and stop the Croatian finding his rhythm. 

Ironically, back in 2012, current Real manager Julen Lopetegui won the UEFA European Under-19 Championship with Campaña as his captain.


Team News

Real Madrid are set to be boosted by the return of Gareth Bale, Isco and Marcelo – all said to be ready and fit to come into the starting lineup this weekend. But Dani Carvajal is still injured.

Deportivo Alaves v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander

Levante will be unable to use loanee Borja Mayoral as Real are his parent club. On top of this, Armando Sadiku, Coke, and Nikola Vukcevic are all expected to miss the game with injuries.


Predicted Lineups

Real Madrid: Courtois; Marcelo, Ramos, Varane, Odriozola; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Isco, Benzema, Bale.

Levante: Olazabal; Cabaco, Postigo, Pier; Jason, Bardhi, Campaña, Toño; Morales, Boateng, Rochina.


Prediction

Madrid have a lot of class returning from injury issues but those players need to step up immediately. They need goals and they need points. 

But perhaps more so than the players, the manager seriously needs a win. Lopetegui will be desperate to ease the pressure on his job.

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Levante, on the other hand, come into this game with none of that pressure. If they lose, it won’t change much in terms of their season. They might just come away with something from the Bernabeu.

Prediction: Real Madrid 1-1 Levante

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Michael Laudrup Reportedly Eyeing Real Madrid Managerial Role Following Los Blancos’ Slump in Form

Michael Laudrup has reportedly offered his services to Real Madrid ?in the event that the Spanish giants choose to part ways with current boss Julen Lopetegui.

Lopetegui’s stint as Madrid boss got off to a rocky start after he was sacked from the Spanish national team on the eve of the World Cup. 

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The Spaniard revealed he had agreed a deal to take on the managerial role at the Bernabeu after the tournament. Things haven’t improved since the season started either, with Los Blancos languishing in fourth in La Liga having scored just 12 times in eight games.

It’s this poor start to the season – and a 409 minute goal draught – that’s cranked up the press on Lopetegui and kick started talk that the Spaniard could be sacked if results don’t improve.

According to Telemadrid (via AS), former Swansea and Getafe boss Michael Laudrup has thrown his hat in the ring to replace Lopetegui by getting in touch with Real and informing them that he would be available.

Athletic Club v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

While it’s unclear whether Real are planning on sacking Lopetegui, one thing is obvious – the Spaniard must find a way to solve Real’s issues in front of goal. Should Real’s struggles continue then the club from the capital may have no other choice than to look for a new boss.

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Chelsea to Offer Eden Hazard New Mega Contract to End Speculation of Real Madrid Move

?Chelsea look set to offer Eden Hazard a huge new contract in an attempt to fend off interest from Real Madrid, with sources suggesting that contract negotiations could be started in the coming weeks. The Belgian has been vocal about his desire to eventually join Real Madrid, but he appears to be happy in west London for the time being. 

After an impressive World Cup campaign, Hazard has started the season in scintillating form under new boss Maurizio Sarri – topping the Premier League scoring chart with seven goals. 

Chairman Bruce Buck has hinted that ?Chelsea could pull out all the stops in order to keep their prized asset, as reported by ?The Sun. 

“Every Chelsea fan in London and around the world loves ?Eden Hazard, and he’s not only a great footballer but I think he’s a wonderful lad,” said Buck, who was speaking at a Financial Times future of football event. 

“We want him to stay and we will do what we have to do to entice him to stay. Let’s see how it goes between now and the end of the season.” 

Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League

Hazard himself recently stated that ?a move to Madrid in the January tran?sfer window is “not possible”. The Belgian midfielder added that he has too much respect for Chelsea and does not want to leave the club on bad terms.

It remains to be seen whether Chelsea’s new offer will be enough to dissuade Hazard from his goal of joining ?Los Blancos, but fans will undoubtedly expect the clubs’ management to whatever it takes to keep their star at Stamford Bridge.

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Gonzalo Higuain Compares Milan & Madrid Derbies While Revealing He Was Forced Out of Juventus

?Gonzalo Higuain has opened up on his move from Juventus to AC Milan in the summer, claiming that the Serie A champions ‘kicked him out’ to make room for superstar signing Cristiano Ronaldo. 

The Argentine striker, who made the loan move to AC Milan this summer, claims he didn’t want to leave Juve after two successful seasons, but had an idea he was on the way out as soon as the 2017/18 campaign was brought to a close.

“From the day of the Coppa Italia final I had an idea that something had broken,” Higuain told Gazzetta dello Sport, via ?Football Italia.

AC Milan v Chievo Verona - Serie A

“And then they took Ronaldo. The decision to leave wasn’t mine, I gave everything for Juventus and won a lot of trophies.

“Then Cristiano arrived and the club wanted to make a leap in quality. They told me I couldn’t stay, and that they were trying to find a solution. The best solution was Milan.”

Higuain moved on an initial season long loan, with an option to buy for €36m, and has so far hit the ground running, scoring six goals in seven appearances. 

He will be hoping to carry his impressive form into his first Milan derby this weekend – a fixture he compared to the illustrious Madrid derby he played in for ?Real

“All derbies have a special flavour,” Higuain added. “It’ll be the same this time, and because it’s my first for Milan it’ll be nice to play in it. We’re waiting with tranquility, concentration and the desire to do well.

“The fact that San Siro will be almost totally on their side will be extra motivation for us. This is a passionate derby, it’s like the one in Madrid.”

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Barcelona Defender Samuel Umtiti Set to Miss Pivotal Clashes With Inter and Real Madrid

??Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti is set to miss out on a number of pivotal fixtures coming up in the calendar, after failing to recover from the knee issues that have plagued him since the World Cup.

The Frenchman has been absent from the Blaugrana’s last three matchday squads, as well as his country’s for their Nations League clashes, and could be out for another month. 

As reported by ?Marca, the 24-year-old was examined by doctors this morning at the Sant Joan Despi Hospital, and they confirmed he would be ineligible for ?Barca’s games against Sevilla, ?Inter and the Classico against ?Real Madrid. 

FC Barcelona v Girona - La Liga Santander

More worrying, though, is the nature of the issue. The Cameroon-born French international has been suffering from chondropathy – a condition in the cartilage – intermittently since the World Cup, and was even hampered by it in Russia. 

With such a sensitive injury, the club are in no mind to rush the defender back to the starting XI, and are persisting with a non-invasive, ultrasound approach to the treatment. The doctors admitted that there had been promising signs of recovery in recent days, but that a specific return date could not be set as of yet. 

CD Leganes v FC Barcelona - La Liga

While his return could come in the middle of November, there is some concern that, should this relatively conservative treatment process fail to relieve the problem, then an arthroscopy

operation would be needed. 

This would sideline Umtiti until the start of 2019, and even then, such a procedure wouldn’t guarantee the re-emergence of the injury further down the line.

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