MX23RW : Friday, May 7 06:34:23| >> :120:28713:28713:
Apr 18, 2021 at 8pm UK at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia
LevanteLevante
1-5
VillarrealVillarreal
Malsa (21')
Marti (68'), Clerc (85')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Postigo (9' og.), Moreno (13'), Chukwueze (63', 75'), Vezo (72' og.)
Coquelin (64')

Preview: Levante vs. Villarreal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Levante and Villarreal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Fresh from booking their spot in the semi-finals of the Europa League, Villarreal will turn their attention back to La Liga this weekend as they prepare to take on Levante.

The Yellow Submarine are currently seventh in the table, one point behind fifth-placed Real Sociedad, while Levante occupy ninth spot, just one point behind Granada in eighth.


Match preview

Jorge de Frutos in action for Levante in March 2021© Reuters

Levante have not finished higher than 10th in La Liga since claiming sixth in 2011-12, but they are currently ninth in Spain's top flight, having picked up 38 points from their 30 matches this season.

The Frogs had been on a run of three defeats from four matches ahead of their clash with Eibar last weekend, but an effort from Jorge de Frutos saw them run out 1-0 winners over the league's basement club.

Levante, as mentioned, are only a point behind eighth-placed Granada on the same number of matches, but it is incredibly tight in the middle of the table, with just five points separating 14th-placed Osasuna from eighth.

Paco Lopez's side will be determined to keep hold of a top-half finish in the final weeks of the campaign, and they will be hoping that Villarreal will be tired from their exertions in the Europa League on Thursday.

Villarreal coach Unai Emery reacts in the Europa League on February 18, 2021© Reuters

The Yellow Submarine, as mentioned, secured their spot in the semi-finals of the Europa League courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Dinamo Zagreb in the second leg of their last-eight tie.

Head coach Unai Emery will lead his side into a last-four clash against former club Arsenal, with the first leg due to take place in Spain on April 29 before the reverse fixture in London on May 6.

Villarreal still have plenty to play for in the league, though, and will be desperate to bounce back from last weekend's 2-1 home loss to Osasuna, which ended a run of three straight victories in Spain's top flight.

Emery's team are currently seventh in the table, just one point behind fifth-placed Real Sociedad, while they are seven points clear of eighth-placed Granada on the same number of matches.

El Submarino Amarillo have only lost three of their 15 away league games this term but have won just five times and were beaten 2-1 by Levante in the corresponding match last season.

Levante La Liga form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Levante form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Villarreal La Liga form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Villarreal form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W


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Team News

Villarreal's Gerard Moreno celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates against Real Madrid on November 21, 2020© Reuters

Levante will definitely be without the services of Nikola Vukcevic and Nemanja Radoja on Sunday through injury, while Jose Campana and Jorge Miramon are both doubts.

Radoja's spot in the middle of the park is expected to be taken by Mickael Malsa, but head coach Lopez could otherwise select the same side that started the win over Eibar.

Indeed, Dani Gomez and Roger Marti should keep their spots as the front two, with De Frutos and Jose Luis Morales operating in the wide areas for the home team.

As for Villarreal, Vicente Iborra will again be unavailable for selection through injury, while the match is expected to come too soon for Pervis Estupinan, who is battling a hamstring problem.

Head coach Emery is likely to resist the temptation to make wholesale changes from Thursday's Europa League contest, but there will be some alterations, with Mario Gaspar, Sergio Asenjo and Carlos Bacca all in line for starts.

Gerard Moreno and Samuel Chukwueze should retain their spots in the final third of the field, but Manu Trigueros could potentially drop out for Moi Gomez.

Levante possible starting lineup:
Fernandez; Coke, Duarte, Postigo, Clerc; De Frutos, Bardhi, Malsa, Morales; Gomez, Marti

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Gaspar, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Parejo, Capoue, M Gomez; G Moreno, Bacca, Chukwueze


SM words green background

We say: Levante 1-1 Villarreal

This is a tough match for Villarreal off the back of a European contest on Thursday evening. Levante are a team to be taken extremely seriously at this level of football, and we are backing the hosts to pick up a share of the spoils against the Yellow Submarine.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Levante vs Villarreal

Levante
11.6%
Draw
25.6%
Villarreal
62.8%
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Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring against Granada in the Europa League on April 8, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico MadridAtletico34237461223976
2Real Madrid34228458243474
3Barcelona34235680334774
4Sevilla34224849272270
5Real Sociedad341411951351653
6Villarreal341313851381352
7Real Betis34149114346-351
8Granada34136154355-1245
9Athletic Bilbao341112114436845
10Celta Vigo341111124651-544
11Osasuna341010143141-1040
12CadizCadiz341010142949-2040
13Levante34911143848-1038
14Valencia34812144351-836
15Getafe34810162640-1434
16AlavesAlaves34710172852-2431
17Real Valladolid34516133246-1431
18Huesca34612163250-1830
19ElcheElche34612162950-2130
20EibarEibar34511182646-2026

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