Real Madrid will be keen to gain six points from two La Liga matches when they continue their league campaign away to Levante at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia on Monday, August 23rd at 1:30 AM IST.
Los Blancos kicked off their new season with a bang, registering an impressive 4-1 victory away at Alaves last weekend, while Levante only managed a 1-1 draw away at Cadiz in their first match of the new season.
Real Madrid had their talisman Karim Benzema, Nacho, and Vinicius Junior to thank as they got on the scoresheet for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
Last season, Los Merengues reached the Champions League semi-finals and finished second in La Liga, only two points behind champions and bitter city rivals Atletico Madrid under the tutelage of the iconic Zinedine Zidane, who left after the season.
President Florentina Perez wasted no time in finding a replacement and swiftly appointed Carlo Ancelotti, which will be the Italian’s second spell in charge of the club after winning the‘La Decima’, the club’s tenth Champions League trophy in 2014. Interestingly enough, it was Zidane who replaced him after his first spell with the roles now reversed.
Los Blancos only lost four La Liga games last season, but three of those losses were before December, which eventually cost them. They were excellent on the road last season, notching up 42 points from 19 matches and the performance against Alaves was a welcome boost in confidence.
It has been a summer of upheaval for Real Madrid, with the aforementioned Ancelotti succeeding Zidane, Raphael Varane leaving for Manchester United, captain and icon Sergio Ramos leaving on a free for Paris Saint-Germain. Martin Odegaard was confirmed as an Arsenal player yesterday in a deal that saw him move permanently to the London club after a six-month loan last season.
Real Madrid’s start has been promising with tricky fixtures against Real Betis, Celta Vigo, and Valencia to come.
October will have the first Clasico of the season with Los Blancos visiting a Post Messi era Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
Meanwhile, Franciso ‘Paco’ Lopez’s side drew away at Cadiz on their opening match of the season.
The Frogs were close to a win with Jose Morales’s 39th-minute goal separating the two sides entering the final minutes of the match until Alfonso Espino produced a 97th-minute equalizer for Los Piratas end the contest in a draw.
Cheick Doucoure and Ruben Rochina have left the club while the likes of Roberto Soldado have joined the Granotes.
Levante is expected to be without Sergio Postigo, Dani Gomez, and the new signing Soldado on Sunday evening.
Lopez might ponder on changing his approach and tactics, with a change to a 3-4-3 formation possible.
As for the capital giants, Toni Kroos, Ferland Mendy, Dani Ceballos, and Dani Carvajal are set to be absent again through injuries. Luka Modric picked up a thigh injury and is now set to miss out with his absence could open the path for Isco to feature in the starting team.
New signing David Alaba is set to continue at left-back with club captain Marcelo remaining a doubt. Eder Militao and Nacho would continue playing as the two central defenders.
Gareth Bale is set to continue his redemption by starting in a front three alongside Benzema and Eden Hazard.
Levante possible starting XI:
Fernandez, Coke, Rober, Duarte, Son, Melero, Campana, Clerc, Marti, de Frutos, Morales.
Real Madrid possible starting XI:
Courtois, Vazquez, Militao, Nacho, Alaba, Casemiro, Valverde, Isco, Bale, Benzema, Hazard.
Our FT prediction: Levante 1-2 Real Madrid.