Season preview: Levante

Season preview: Levante
© PA Photos
Sports Mole assesses Levante's chances of success in the new La Liga campaign.

After finishing sixth in the 2011-2012 campaign, Levante, who had returned to Spain's top flight in 2010, had been expected to push on last season.

It didn't quite happen for the Valencia-based outfit, however, with the club having to settle for an 11th-place finish in Spain's top flight.

Here, Sports Mole discusses whether Joaquin Caparros can secure a top-half finish in the new campaign.

In: Sergio da Silva Pinto (Hannover), David Barral (Orduspor), Jordi Xumetra (Elche), Issam El Adoua (Guimaraes), Andreas Ivanschitz (Mainz), Javi Jimenez (Real Murcia)

Out: Jose Luis Morales (Eibar – Loan), Michel (Valencia), Ivan Lopez (Girona – Loan), Dariusz Dudka (Released), Jose Barkero (Real Zaragoza), Pedro Rios (Released), Gustavo Munua (Fiorentina), Juanlu (Released), Sergio Ballesteros (Released), Roger (Real Zaragoza – Loan)

Last season: 11th

Manager: Joaquin Caparros

Three key players:

Helsingborg's David Accam is pursued by Levante's Vicente Iborra during the side's Europa League clash on September 20, 2012 © AP Photos
Vicente Iborra: If Levante were to be summed up by one player, then it would be their midfield general Iborra. The Spaniard has been with the club since his youth days, making his first-team debut for the Spanish outfit in 2007-2008. That said, if it weren't for severe financial difficulties at the club, which led to a number of players leaving, he may have been forced to search elsewhere for regular football. There have been a number of arrivals and indeed departures over the last 12 months, but Iborra has been a constant throughout. Since 2008, he has appeared 165 times for the club in the league, scoring eight times in the process. At just 25 years of age, he certainly has the time to emerge into one of the most decorated players in their history.

Levante's Ruben Garcia reacts after failing to score against Rubin Kazan during the Europa League match on March 7, 2013© AP Photos
Ruben Garcia: The Spanish winger, who is another product of the club's prosperous academy system, made his first-team debut for Levante in September 2012. He did not look back from that moment as he established himself as one of their key players in the previous season, making 31 appearances in La Liga, scoring four goals in the process. A number of European clubs were believed to be sniffing around the 20-year-old this summer, but it is understood that the midfielder believes that his education is best served at his hometown club. In a team that doesn't score too many goals, Garcia will certainly be asked to provide in the new campaign.

Panathinaikos' Loukas Vyntra in action during the Europa League on October 4, 2012© Getty Images
Loukas Vyntra: After struggling in defence in the early stages of last season, it is no surprise that the introduction of experienced Greek international Vyntra stemmed the flow of goals. The 32-year-old, who swapped Panathinaikos, where he had been since 2003, for Levante in the January window, made 15 league appearances in the second part of the season. Although the Greek, who has 42 international caps to his name, primarily operates in the centre of defence, he can also play in either full-back position or at the base of the midfield, qualities which will make him a key player for Levante in the new season.

First game: Barcelona (A) Aug 18

Sports Mole says: It has been a case of out with the old and in with the new at Levante this summer with the likes of Sergio Ballesteros departing the Spanish outfit. It is difficult to be critical of their form last season after finishing in 11th position, some 10 points clear of the relegation zone. They conceded 57 times in their 38 league games last season, but they found the back of the net on just 40 occasions, one of the worst records in the division. They are not exactly a team blessed with goals, but they have added in defensive areas, which should provide them with a good base to build from. In truth, a top-half finish should be just beyond them, but the supporters will be content with another mid-table position.

Predicted finish: 11th

Share this article now:
Bologna player Robert Acquafresca celebrates after scroing for Bologna on March 4, 2012
Read Next:
Levante sign Acquafresca, Vyntra
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Premier League
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Ligue 1
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Segunda Division
Serie B
Ligue 2
Liga MX
Uruguayan Primera Division
Australian A-League
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Indian I-League
Primeira Liga
Turkish Super Lig

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
2Atletico MadridAtletico2416713692755
3Real Madrid25156462273551
7Celta Vigo25105104337635
11Real Betis24103114150-933
13Real Sociedad2485114645129
14Athletic Bilbao2461082427-328
18Las PalmasLas Palmas2554161852-3419
19Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo2546152453-2918
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account