Levante striker Obafemi Martins is anticipating 'a war' when Real Madrid arrive at the Estadio Ciutat de Valencia on Sunday.
Real fell victim to a massive shock at the same venue last season, losing 1-0, and cannot afford a repeat if they are to fight their way back into the title race. That said Levante are in a rich vein of form, both domestically and in Europe.
“Real Madrid are coming to our home to win, because they lost last year in Valencia,” Martins commented at a pre-match media call today. “We expect a war, because this year they want to do better, but we have to play our own game.
“I hope to score against them, but as I said we'll have to do very well to win.”
The Nigerian, famed for his acrobatic celebrations and blazing speed, was asked whether he thought he was quicker than Los Blancos star Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Ronaldo is a great player, one of the best in the world, though I wouldn't like to say if he's first or second.
"We are both fast forwards, but surely we will not face each other because I am not a defender. Hopefully [Sergio] Ballesteros will do the same as last year,” Martins joked, referring to a remarkable incident in last year's game when the veteran centre back outpaced Ronaldo.
The former Newcastle forward has been unable to participate in the Granotes Europa League adventure as he wasn't registered in time in the summer, and is desperate to see the team progress so that he can play in the latter rounds.
“I pray every day that we pass this round in Europe because I want to play in this competition.”