Madrid, with Hazard and without Zidane, forced to beat Levante
He Real Madrid returns to the Alfredo di Stéfano stadium 28 days later, with the obligation to win to the Levante so as not to lose the trail of the leader, the Atlético de Madrid, conditioned by the new plague of casualties that especially affects your defensive line and the attention in the growth of Eden Hazard before a rival of bad memories.
With only 14 outfield players and without Zinedine Zidane present on the bench, Real Madrid faces the visit of Levante. A defense that will not have its banner, Sergio Ramos, nor with his substitute Nacho Fernández; with the absence of Dani Carvajal on the right wing and that of the 'wild card' that covered him, Lucas Vázquez. Casualties that, added to those of the Uruguayan Fede Valverde and the Brazilian Rodrygo, leave the Madrid team with just enough.
Once the January slump that cost two competitions - the Spanish Super Cup and the King's Cup - has been resolved, Real Madrid wants to give continuity to the good image and forcefulness shown against Alavés (1-4). He will look for him locally, a situation that he had not experienced since January 2 when he defeated Celta. He has won his last four games at Di Stéfano and conceding only one goal against Atlético de Madrid, Athletic, Pomegranate and Celta. A goal to extend against Levante while waiting for a stumble from the leader that reduces the distance.
With an unprecedented defense due to the circumstances, it is expected that Zidane, who decides from a distance, will bet on Álvaro Odriozola on the right side. He has an advantage over the option of switching to Ferland Mendy and entering Marcelo on the left. After three months without playing, Militao finds continuity with his third consecutive starting game due to knee problems that have weighed down captain Sergio Ramos in a black start to 2021, while his renewal with the club remains unfinished.
The rest of the Madrid gala eleven are not affected by casualties. They will remain in the core after the exhibition of Mendizorroza Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, with their backs covered by Casemiro, and the same offensive trident with Marco Asensio, Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema.
After finally scoring a goal and increasing his prominence, the work week can be a new impetus for Hazard to show his true level with the Madrid shirt. Levante does not bring him good memories, after relapsing from his ankle injury in February in the City of Valencia and having to undergo surgery, conditioning his first year with months of absence. Madrid's casualties force them to pull from the quarry with the presence in the squad of three youth players: Víctor Chust, Antonio Blanco and Sergio Arribas.
The Levantine team arrives in Valdebebas after having drawn their last two games in The league, but with confidence after overcoming the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey this week, against Real Valladolid at home. However, his streak as a visitor is very improvable, since he accumulates eight consecutive starts without knowing the victory and his only victory of the course away from home was in Pamplona on September 27.
Levante coach Paco López has the loss of the injured José Campaña, Nikola Vukcevic and Jorge De Frutos, who will lose the duel against the club from which he left last summer. Yes, Real Madrid youth squad players Gonzalo Melero and Dani Gómez will be able to enjoy this very special match, who return to Valdebebas at a good time of the season for both on an individual level.
After having given rest to several players in the Cup, Paco López will recover the goal Aitor, the sides Miramón and Clerc and, in principle, the Costa Rican Duarte will accompany the Portuguese Vezo in the axis of the rear. With Malsa and Radoja very settled in the starting eleven, the Candidates to cover the loss of De Frutos are Melero and Bardhi, which reappeared a week ago after more than two months of absence due to a hernia. Roger arrives in top form at the event, having scored three goals in the last two league games, and would be accompanied in attack by Dani Gómez.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Odriozola, Varane, Militao, Mendy; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Marco Asensio, Hazard and Benzema.
I raised: Aitor; Miramón, Duarte, Vezo, Clerc; Melero or Bardhi, Malsa, Radoja, Morales; Roger and Dani Gómez.
Referee: Medié Jiménez (Catalan school)
Stadium: Alfredo di Stéfano.
Posts: Real Madrid (2nd; 40 points); Levante (12th; 23 points).
The key: Eden Hazard's continuity in her performance.
The data: Two victories and a draw for Levante in the fourteen league visits to Real Madrid.
Bettoni: "We have to start the game well, put in the right intensity and impose our game."
Paco Lopez: "Madrid have options in the two most important titles. I expect an ambitious Madrid."
The environment: the absence of Copa del Rey matches allows Real Madrid to arrive in good physical condition to make up for the casualties.