Real Madrid: 3 keys to victory at Levante on Matchday 5

Real Madrid, Nacho Fernandez (Photo by Maria Jose Segovia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Nacho Fernandez (Photo by Maria Jose Segovia/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid will face Levante in their fourth match of the 2020-2021 season this Sunday, and here are three keys to victory for Los Blancos.

At mid-week, Real Madrid defeated Real Valladolid 1-0 in a game that was closer than it should have been, considering the chances Los Blancos created. But once again, the Royal Whites can also say that they were fortunate to have won all three points, since they needed Thibaut Courtois’ heroics on multiple occasions.

This Sunday, Real Madrid will face Levante in another road game, wanting a convincing performance before the international break. Here are three keys to victory for Los Blancos.

Real Madrid cannot ask Nacho to do too much

Dani Carvajal is out for months with an MCL injury. And now, Alvaro Odriozola will also miss Sunday’s game and a couple of more weeks with an injury of his own. This means that Real Madrid will have to look to either Nacho or Lucas Vazquez at right back with Eder Militao also still recovering from an injury.

Nacho is the safer option between them, because he can actually defend reliably. He made some nice crosses last September when Real Madrid needed him, but he’s too slow to be a real offensive contributor despite having some upside in the attacking third.

The key for Real is not asking Nacho to do too much. Have him focus on defending and allow Fede Valverde to carry most of that attacking load on the right side as a wide midfielder. Valverde has the pace, passing ability, and physicality to take care of business.

Real Madrid should start Marco Asensio

Marco Asensio had a big performance for Real Madrid in the 1-0 win over Real Valladolid, as he helped change the game alongside Vinicius Junior. The Spanish international won five dribbles, per, including a mazy run that helped lead to Vinicius’ goal.

Zinedine Zidane has a lot of options in terms of formation, and he could even play Martin Odegaard or Isco on the right-hand side in a 4-3-3. But he should go with Asensio, who offers more goal-scoring upside than any other wide forward in the team.

Real Madrid cannot afford to make any sloppy passes in the middle of the pitch

As one of the most technically-prolific squads in European football, Real Madrid love to work their way up the pitch with clever passes in tight quarters and have the personnel at all levels of the field to engage in risky build-up play. But it often comes back to bite them when they get too cute, as sides like Manchester City, Real Betis, and even Levante can attest.

Real Madrid were perhaps unlucky to lose 1-0 to Levante in February, but that loss should be fresh in their minds. And already this season, there have been examples of Real leaving Thibaut Courtois exposed to a breakaway counterattack opportunity after an ill-advised pass in the heart of the midfield in their own half.

5 key players for Real Madrid at Levante. dark. Next

Los Blancos need to be careful against Levante, who love pouncing on these mistakes and have strikers who enjoy these quick opportunities. Levante are weak defensively, but they are an underrated attacking side capable of playing exciting football and elevating their game against a top club like Real Madrid.