Chance for three in a row!
LA LIGA SANTANDER
REAL VALLADOLID (17th, 9 pts) vs LEVANTE (18th, 7pts)
ESTADIO JOSE ZORRILLA, VALLADOLID, SPAIN
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 27th, 2020. KICK OFF 20:00 (GMT)
Following on from back-to-back wins over Athletic Club and Granada, Real Valladolid bid to make it three wins in a row as they entertain Levante at the José Zorrilla tonight in the opening fixture of Matchday 11.
Pucela have not posted such a thread of victories since they won four in a row in their return to the top flight in season 2018/19. Curiously, that run - between Matchdays 6 and 9 - began with a home win over Levante. Goals from Enes Ünal and a superb volley from Nacho gave them a 2-1 win and they went on to see off Villarreal (1-0 away), Huesca (1-0 home) and Real Betis (1-0 away).
Confidence is high in the Real Valladolid camp after posting those two wins to snap an eight match winless start to the campaign. This is arguably a very winnable match, but they will need to be cautious as Levante sit just one place and two points behind in the table and lie in wait for a slip up. A Levante win would see los granotas leapfrog (pardon the pun) their opponents into 17th and possiblt even one place higher should they manage to reduce their goal difference significantly enough.
Despite collecting just nine points out of 30 in their opening ten matches, Pucela's fortunes have improved dramatically and they have hauled themselves out of the relegation zone. Exactly half of their ten goal total this season has been scored over the last 180 minutes of football, thanks in large part to Marcos André bagging one in each of his two previous starts. The emergence of the big Brazilian striker, who was loaned from the B-team to Mirandés in the Segunda last year, has kept marquee summer capture Shon Weissman on the bench. André netted 12 goals in 45 appearances for the side from Miranda de Ebro, so is no stranger to a goal and perhaps a friendly competition has been started between him and Weismann (who posted 30 goals in 31 Austrian Bundesliga matches in 2019/20) to be the strike partner to Sergi Guardiola. This can only be of benefit to a team who has experienced such a dearth of firepower since their return to LaLiga.
Levante have drawn their last four matches 1-1 and come into this encounter with just the one win to their name in an underperforming start to 2020/21, a 3-1 win away at Osasuna which was nonetheless impressive as most teams leave El Sadar empty handed. They have failed to find the net in three of their nine games (they have played one less due to a postponement against Atlético Madrid) but boast José Luis Morales who already has four goals and is two behind league top scorer Mikel Oyarzabal.
Talking of strikers, weighing in with two goals this campaign is Roger Martí - a former Pucela player during two loan spells in 2014/15 and 2016. He is joined by winger Jorge De Frutos as Real Valladolid alumni. De Frutos joined Levante in the summer from Real Madrid having split last season between the blanquivioletas and Real Oviedo on loan, the latter whom he switched to in January of this year after finding limited opportunities to play at the José Zorrilla.
Levante manager Paco López looks set to be without goalkeeper Aitor Fernández for the second time this season, along with Macedonian midfielder Enis Bhardi. Meanwhile the only injury for Sergio González in the home dugout is the long-term loss of Kiko Olivas.