Isco and Marcelo are set to start, while Gareth Bale is in contention to play as Real Madrid prepare to host Levante to Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

The La Liga title race seems to be wide open, with both Real Madrid and Barcelona struggling to perform at their best. Los Blancos though, have the opportunity to jump to the top of the table when they welcome Levante to the Bernabeu on Saturday, looking to overturn a run of four games without a win.

Julen Lopetegui has greeted the return of La Liga action with positive news on the injury front, with two players set to return to action, and another in contention. Marcelo has recovered from his calf injury and should slot back into the left-back slot that has felt hollow in his absence.

His partner on the opposite flank, Dani Carvajal though, is sidelined for another month due to his own calf injury. As a result, Alvaro Odriozola should start on the right side of the Real Madrid defence, with Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos being the central defensive partnership.

Behind them, the choice of the goalkeeper often presents Lopetegui with a major selection headache. For now though, the Real Madrid boss has zeroed in on Courtois as his custodian of choice in La Liga. In midfield, there is another bone of contention.

While Toni Kroos and Casemiro seem to be automatic selections to start against Levante, the final spot will be contested by Luka Modric and Dani Ceballos. While Modric has been far from his best after a gruelling summer, Ceballos has not been consistent enough, meaning the Croat should start.

Up ahead in attack, there is a desperate need for goals. The goal drought has not been helped by the ever worsening injury situation, although Lopetegui informed in his pre-match press conference that several key players will be in contention to feature against Levante, including Bale, Isco and Karim Benzema.

“He [Bale] has shown great responsibility and has a chance of playing tomorrow. Between today and tomorrow we’ll see. [Isco] had appendicitis but he’s got over that now. He’s another weapon for the team. Us coaches love to have as many players available as possible. We’re thrilled that he’s recovered and ready to play again. We’ll decide tomorrow.”

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“Physically, he [Benzema] had a bit of discomfort but he’s had two full sessions back with the team. We’ll see how he’s feeling. Psychologically I think he seems perfectly fine.”

Lopetegui’s comments suggest that Isco is set to return to the starting lineup, while Bale might be fit enough to feature from the bench, meaning Marco Asensio will start on the right. Upfront, Mariano Diaz might replace Benzema, who should be another player starting on the bench against Levante.

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