Barcelona take a trip down the east coast of Spain to face Levante on Saturday, with the Catalans looking to extend their lead at the top of La Liga.
After Lionel Messi single-handedly tore apart Real Valladolid, sending Barcelona back to the La Liga summit, the Catalan giants will look to kick on, after a shaky start to the season.
Levante sit 14th in the league table, and have been inconsistent of late, and face a tough challenge against the Spanish champions.
Here’s 90min’s preview of the game.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 2 November|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||15:00 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Estadi Ciutat de Valencia|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||N/A|
Robert Pier is close to a return for Levante, but is unlikely to make it, after a six month lay-off. Oier Olazabal and Toño are also set to miss out for the Granotas.
Barcelona’s only injury worry is Samuel Umtiti, who is out with a knee problem.
|Levante||Fernandez; Coke, Cabaco, Vezo, Clerc; Leon, Campaña, Radoja; Hernani, Borja, Morales|
|Barcelona||Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Busquets, De Jong; Griezmann, Suarez, Messi|
?Barcelona have dominated this fixture, with the Catalans winning 16 of the last 20 games between the two.
However, Levante did beat ?Barca in the Copa del Rey last season, 2-1, but then lost the second leg 3-0, so the win really counted for nothing.
The last two league fixtures between the two in Valencia have been high-scoring affairs, with Barca winning 5-0 last season, and Levante winning 5-4 the season before that. There’s been some decent games between the two sides.
Levante have had a mixed bag of results lately, winning one, losing two and drawing two of their last five. The Granotas will have to be at their best to have a chance, but recent form doesn’t exactly look favourable.
Barcelona have started to hit a purple patch, winning their last six games. They will look to continue this run as they look to win three ?La Liga titles in a row.
Here’s how both teams have fared in their last five:
|Levante 0-1 Espanyol (27/10)||Barcelona 5-1 Valladolid (29/10)|
|Sevilla 1-0 Levante (20/10)||Slavia Prague 1-2 Barcelona (23/10)|
|Leganes 1-2 Levante (5/10)||Eibar 0-3 Barcelona (19/10)|
|Levante 1-1 Osasuna (29/9)||Barcelona 4-0 Sevilla (6/10)|
|Real Betis 3-1 Levante (24/9)||Barcelona 2-1 Inter Milan (2/10)|
Barcelona aren’t easy to beat at the best of times, so playing them when they’re on a winning streak of six matches, doesn’t really play into Levante’s hands.
However, Barca’s defence isn’t the strongest, and they are prone to conceding goals, so if Levante attack them, they may fold under pressure.
Despite that, Barcelona will win with ease, however Levante may score in this fixture, which could make it interesting.
Prediction: Levante 1-4 Barcelona