Levante boss Paco López has announced his squad for the pivotal match against Las Palmas on Sunday and given the number of injuries and suspensions he faces the caretaker manager has practically called up everybody he has available. That has opened up an opportunity for Fahad Al Muwallad, the 23-year-old on-loan Al Ittihad winger, to make his debut for the Frogs in the Ciutat de Valencia.
Al Muwallad, dubbed the “Saudi Leo Messi”, has yet to make an appearance for the Liga side after arriving in January during a raft of loan signings of Saudi internationals by Spanish clubs designed to give the national team a boost ahead of the World Cup in Russia. But with López shorn of several first-team regulars in Jason, Sasa Lukic, Cheick Doukouré, Emmanuel Boateng, Toño, Antonio Luna, Iván López and Raúl Fernández, the Levante boss has called up the entire available first team squad for the visit of Paco Jémez’s side. Only third-choice keeper Iván Villar has missed out.
Levante seriously short of players for Las Palmas game
Rubén Rochina was a late addition to López’s squad but with the on-loan Rubin Kazan forward returning from injury it remains to be seen what the Levante manager decides to do with a seriously depleted attacking line. Roger and Giampolo Pazzini could operate as an attacking pair or López may opt to deploy José Luis Morales behind the Spanish striker, who top-scored in Segunda last season but has been out for much of this season through injury.
Whether Al Muwallad makes the starting XI or is on the bench, Sunday could provide the Ciutat de Valencia support with their first glimpse of a player on who’s shoulders rests much of Saudi Arabia’s hopes of causing a few surprises in Russia.