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Real Madrid - Levante, La Liga 15/16: Match preview

La Liga is back after the FIFA break.

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Once again, the FIFA virus has hit Real Madrid pretty hard and Los Blancos will have to deal with an enormous amount of casualties back in La Liga. Seven players that are usually in Benítez's squad lists will miss tomorrow's game against Levante but that must not be an excuse. Real Madrid need to win to gain the leadership at least for a while and start off on the right foot in a series of four league games until the next FIFA break, right before the first Clásico of the season.

Sergio Ramos, who still has some pain in his collarbone, has finally been left out of the squad list, but is expected to be ready for Wednesday's game against PSG. Álvaro Arbeloa, who suffered a knock in today's training session, is out as well, and will thus join Carvajal, Pepe, James, Modric and Benzema in the Bernabéu stands. The good news is that Danilo and Bale, whose participation in tomorrow's game remained doubtful, have made it into the squad list and will likely be starters tomorrow.

The importance of tomorrow's game and the reduced roster will likely make Rafa Benítez choose his strongest possible lineup in a game that would have been a good chance to rest some players, after the international games and right before the crucial clash against PSG on Wednesday. Levante, which is currently the third-to-last team in La Liga, should not be a very tough rival in the Bernabéu, although one must remember that they put up a good fight at the Camp Nou a few weeks ago until Barça scored the first goal in the second half. This is why Los Blancos must do their best to score an early goal to avoid any kind of trouble.

If Benítez's men win tomorrow, they will get back on top of the table at least for a while. Barcelona hosts Rayo Vallecano at 20:30 CET, so Luis Enrique's men are not expected to drop any points, but since Villarreal and Celta play against each other on Sunday morning, it would not be a surprise if Marcelino's men don't get a victory, which could result in Real Madrid finishing the weekend as La Liga leaders.

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