La Liga Preview: Real Madrid-Levante

March 8, 2014
Ancelotti: Benzema will be fit for Clasico

Real Madrid will need no reminder of the threat posed by Levante when Joaquin Caparros' in-form side travels to the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Carlo Ancelotti's side rescued a 3-2 win at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia in October with stoppage-time goals from Alvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real will enter this weekend's game a point clear at the top of La Liga following last week's 2-2 draw with city rival Atletico, sealed by another late Ronaldo goal.

The Blancos are currently the form team in La Liga after not tasting defeat in any competition since losing to Barcelona at Camp Nou in October, going 28 matches unbeaten since in all competitions.

Since its Santiago Bernabeu defeat to Atleti in September, Real has been irresistible at home in all competitions, winning every single one of the following 15 home games.

Levante is enjoying a surprisingly good campaign under well-regarded coach Caparros, who has reportedly emerged as a target for former side Sevilla should it opt against renewing Unai Emery's contract in the summer.

A run of six defeats in seven Liga matches looked to have put pay to Levante's slim European hopes in early January, but it has since gone eight domestic games unbeaten and sits eighth, reigniting its chances.

The two sides go into this fixture on the back of a brief international break and Madrid's front men were in good form for their respective countries, with Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale all netting during the week.

While Ancelotti does not have significant injury problems to contend with, Pepe is a doubt due to illness, while Dani Carvajal and Marcelo are expected to be restored to the full back berths.

Caparros will be without suspended trio Pape Diop, Victor Cassadeus and Simao Mate, while Christian Lell (stomach) and Issam El Adoua (foot) are doubts, despite both returning to training.