Levante vs Real Madrid: preview, team news, starting XIs

Levante host Real Madrid at the Cuitat de Valencia as Zinedine Zidane's men start a tough week including Manchester City in Europe and Barcelona in El Clásico.

Levante vs Real Madrid: preview, team news, predicted starting XIs

Real Madrid find themselves behind in the table for the first time in four weeks when they take to the pitch at the Ciutat de Valencia on Saturday, after Barcelona thumped Eibar earlier in the day, and Levante are not a side that tend to roll over when they see white shirts in front of them.

When the two sides met last September Madrid carved out a 3-2 victory after scoring three times in the first half. In the same fixture a season earlier, the Frogs pulled off the same trick with Morales and Roger striking early to earn the visitors a 2-1 victory, albeit one that carries as all victories against Madrid at that time do a Julen Lopetegui-shaped asterisk. When Madrid visited the Cuitat last season they required two penalties to sneak a 2-1 win and the year before that Zinedine Zidane’s European champions were held to a 2-2 draw.

On paper at least, Madrid are favourites on Saturday against Paco López’s side but as many can attest – not least Barcelona when they kissed goodbye to an unbeaten season in 2017-18 with two games to go – the Frogs are quite happy to produce their own fairy tales on home turf.

Barcelona vs Eibar as it happened!

Levante XI vs Real Madrid

Starting XI: Aitor Fernández; Miramón, Postigo, Bruno, Toño García; Bardhi, Vukcevic, Campaña, Morales; Mayoral and Roger.

Subs: Koke Vegas, Duarte, Sergio León, Clerc, Melero, Coke and Pablo Martínez.

Real Madrid XI vs Levante

Starting XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Isco, Hazard and Benzema

Subs: Areola, Militao, Valverde, James, Lucas Vázquez, Mendy and Vinicius.

Levante vs Real Madrid: Injuries and suspensions

Paco López is without the injured Rober Pier, Iván López, Hernâni, Rubén Rochina and Nemanja Radoja. Zinedine Zidane has only long-term absentee Marco Asensio unavailable while Mariano, who would not have made the squad anyway after playing just 44 minutes all season, also misses out with a knock.

Neither side has anybody currently suspended but Ferland Mendy is a caution away from being banned for the Clásico and therefore will not be risked in the Ciutat de Valencia.