Levante vs. Real Madrid: Preview and TV schedule

Denis Doyle

Real Madrid travels to Levante struggling to get healthy, find their identity and gain a measure of much need consistency.

Real Madrid continue to be an enigma, wrapped in bacon and topped off with a little parsley. A team that can't seem to find consistency and struggling under the massive expectations place upon them by investment, fans and the media.

More from our team blogs: Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid

There loss against Atlético Madrid last week has left Los Blancos five points adrift of their two biggest rivals and while the season is hardly over, this is not the kind of start Carlo Ancelotti wanted or needed. The continued absence of Gareth Bale isn't helping either as the world record transfer has yet to make an meaningful impact for his new side.

It's with all that in mind that Madrid travels to face Levante, a team that has improved since their season opening bludgeoning from Barcelona. Since that 7-0 loss, Valladolid have won twice and drawn four times. It's a great chance for Joaquin Caparros' team to make and impact, steal some points and potentially lower Ancelotti a little closer to a waiting boiling cauldron of doubt if they fall any further behind in the title race.

Levante injuries and suspensions

In Doubt: Pape Diop (knee).

Real Madrid injuries and suspensions

Out: Gareth Bale (thigh), Xabi Alonso (foot), Marcelo (hamstring). In Doubt: Pepe (cut)

Gareth Bale's thigh problem continues to keep the winger on the sideline as he's at least two weeks away from getting back on the pitch. Alonso and Marcelo remain out as well, recovering from foot surgery and hamstring problems respectively. Raphaël Varane could get his first league start of the season with Pepe in doubt after suffering a bad cut in Champions League play.Pape Diop's status is up in the air after missing training during the week with a knee problem.

Projected lineups

Levante: Keylor Navas; Christian Lell, Loukas Vyntra, Héctor Rodas, Juanfran; Pape Diop, Simão Mate; Pedro López, Rubén García, Nabil El Zhar; Baba Diawara.

Real Madrid: Diego López; Álvaro Arbeloa, Raphaël Varane, Sergo Ramos, Fábio Coentrão; Sami Khedira, Asier Illarramendi; Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco, Ángel Di Maria; Karim Benzema.

Match Date/Time: 8 p.m. local, 2 p.m. ET

Venue: Estadi Ciutat de València, Valencia, Spain

TV: beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Español (U.S.), Sky Sports 4 (U.K.), Gol Stadium, GOL T, Canal+ Liga / HD (Spain)

Online: beIN Sport Play (U.S.), Sky Go (U.K.)

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