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Apr 18, 2021 at 8pm UK
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

:Headline: 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.
Sports Mole

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

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.

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

Team News

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

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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3 38247785384779
4 38245953332077
5 3817111059382162
6 381710115050061
7 3815131060441658
8 381411135557-253
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11 381111163748-1144
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14 38914154657-1141
15 38911182843-1538
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