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Preview: Real Valladolid vs. Levante – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's La Liga clash between Real Valladolid and Levante, including team news and predicted lineups.

Real Valladolid will be looking to end their four-game winless run in La Liga when they play host to Levante at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla on Wednesday.

The two sides are separated by six points in the table as things stand, with Levante sitting in 12th with 41 points, while Valladolid occupy 14th spot with 35 points.


Match preview

Real Valladolid boss Sergio in February 2019.© Reuters

Valladolid's winless run in the Spanish top flight continued as they drew 1-1 away to Champions-league chasing Sevilla last Friday, with Lucas Ocampos netting a late equaliser for the home side at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

However, that result means that Sergio Gonzalez's side have only tasted defeat once since La Liga returned to action, and Valladolid are nine clear of the bottom three with six gameweeks left of the 2019-20 campaign.

The White and Violets should not be in any real danger of relegation at this stage of the season, but Valladolid will no doubt be looking over their shoulder as they search for their first home win since February.

Gonzalez has witnessed his team endure a tough run of fixtures against top-half sides in Atletico Madrid, Getafe and Sevilla in the last few weeks, and the 42-year-old will no doubt be satisfied with draws against the latter two prior to Wednesday's mid-table clash with Levante.

Levante head coach Paco Lopez pictured in April 2019© Reuters

In contrast, Levante recovered from their midweek defeat to Atletico Madrid as they overcame Real Betis 4-2 on Sunday.

Levante's 12th win of the season means they have only lost one of their last six league matches in Spain's top flight, but Paco Lopez's men realistically have very little to play for at this late stage of the season.

Granotas currently lie 12th in the table on 41 points – 15 clear of the relegation zone and eight adrift of the top six, and while a late push for the European places seems unlikely for Levante, it certainly is not out of the question just yet.

Nevertheless, Granotas are well-positioned to improve on last season's 15th-placed finish, and should other results go their way in midweek, Levante would climb up to 10th in the table with a second victory on the bounce.

That being said, even though Levante managed to win their most recent away fixture against bottom-of-the-table Espanyol, Lopez's side have only triumphed four times on their travels all season.

Two strikes in the final 10 minutes from Sergio Leon and Jose Luis Morales gave Levante a 2-0 win over Valladolid when the sides last met back in August.

Real Valladolid La Liga form: LWDLDD

Levante La Liga form: DDDWLW


Team News

Atletico Madrid's Hector Herrera in action with Real Valladolid's Mohammed Salisu in La Liga on October 6, 2019© Reuters

Gonzalez made a plethora of changes to his side against Sevilla, and it would not be a surprise to see the Valladolid manager shuffle the pack again with fixtures coming thicker and faster than ever.

Kiko Olivas should retain his place in defence following his opener against Sevilla, and the highly-rated Mohammed Salisu could return to partner the Spaniard at centre-back.

Hatem Ben Arfa made his first start of the campaign against Sevilla, but the Frenchman was hauled off on the hour mark and may be forced to settle for a place amongst the substitutes in midweek.

With regards to Levante, midfielder Nikola Vukcevic is available for selection after serving a suspension against Betis for accumulating 10 yellow cards.

The only real concern for Levante is the knee injury keeping Ivan Lopez on the treatment table, but other than that the Granotas manager has a clean bill of health prior to the clash with Valladolid.

Real Valladolid possible starting lineup:
Masip; Moyano, Olivas, Salisu, Nacho; Plano, Emeterio, Michel, Villa; Unal, Guardiola

Levante possible starting lineup:
Fernandez; Miramon, Vezo, Postigo, Clerc; Rochina, Campana, Vukcevic, Bardhi; Morales, Mayoral


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We say: Real Valladolid 2-1 Levante

Valladolid will be more determined than ever to get three points on the board and end their barren run, while Levante have only managed to amass 13 points on the road all season. Gonzalez is likely to freshen his team up and welcome several regular fixtures back to the starting XI, so we are backing the home side to take the spoils on Wednesday evening.



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Saturday's key events


TRIATHLON
· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

SWIMMING
· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
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· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

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· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

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· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

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