?After thrashing Real Valladolid 5-1 in midweek, ?Barcelona travel to Levante in search of their sixth La Liga win in the row.
Barça currently sit top, a point clear of Clasico rivals Real Madrid, following five victories on the trot. Levante are stuck in mid-table with two wins and two losses from their last five, but are coming off an impressive 2-1 win at Real Sociedad.
Unsurprisingly, Barcelona have got the better of this fixture in recent times – but their last visit ended in a 1-0 loss in the Copa del Rey. And some may remember in the 2017/18 season, Levante beat Barça 5-4 in one of the best games of football in ?La Liga history.
Barcelona will want to continue their recent winning streak and maintain their lead at the top, especially with a busy schedule of both domestic and Champions League games.
Here’s the most likely Barcelona team that will look to obtain their eighth win of the season and see off Levante.
Goalkeepers & Defenders
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) – Germany’s number one and Barcelona’s number one. ?Ter Stegen was recently outspoken about Barcelona’s shoddy defending against Slavia Prague and has had to be on top form this season for the Catalan side. Neto is very firmly second choice behind one of the world’s top stoppers.
Nelson Semedo (RB) – It’s currently very much a toss-up at the right full-back position for Barcelona. Ernesto Valverde has used both Semedo and Sergi Roberto there. Semedo should just about get the nod after starting in the 5-1 win in mid week. It wouldn’t be surprising, however, if Roberto did play ahead of the Portuguese.
Gerard Piqué (CB) – Since Carles Puyol retired, it has been a bit of a revolving door alongside ?Gerard Piqué at the back for Barcelona. However, the Spaniard is still a constant presence. Admittedly, at 32-years-old he may be past his best but an injury to Samuel Umtiti and no other alternatives will see him retain his spot.
Clement Lenglet (CB) – Lenglet arguably had his best game in a Barça shirt in midweek. He scored his first goal of the season, and only his second ever for Barcelona. Again, with Umtiti struggling with knee injuries, this is a real chance for the former Sevilla man to claim that starting place next to Pique.
Jordi Alba (LB) – Still one of the best left-backs in the world, Alba is entering his eighth season with Barcelona and there’s no signs that he’s letting up any time soon. Junior Firpo was brought in over the summer but very much remains an understudy to Alba who will continue to feature down the left side.
Sergio Busquets (DM) – As much as you might hate or love him, Busquets has consistently been one of the best at the ‘six’ role throughout his career. He is the lynchpin around which this team is built – it simply wouldn’t function without his calming influence. One of the greats of the modern game and one of the most successful.
Frenkie de Jong (CM) – From one of Barça’s stalwarts to one of their new boys. De Jong has been as good as people expected when he signed from Ajax this summer. Valverde, evidently, has a lot of faith in the Dutchman who has started more games this season than any other Barcelona player. Most likely to be found playing on the left side of this three man midfield.
Arturo Vidal (CM) – It says a lot about Barcelona’s depth at central midfield when the likes of Arthur, Ivan Rakitic and Carles Aleña will be on the bench. ?Vidal had complained about his role at Barcelona and got his chance in midweek to prove to Valverde that he should be playing more. He took this chance with fervour scoring Barcelona’s second goal in their 5-1 win.
Lionel Messi (RW) – The G.O.A.T?. Need I say more? ?Messi missed the start of the season with injury but has come back – and then some. He’s started four La Liga games this season and scored four goals, while providing four assists. There’s no one like him in the whole game and even at 32-years-old, he’s still showing on a regular basis that he is the best in the world.
Luis Suarez (ST) – Much has been said about Suarez and whether his future in football was at Barcelona following their summer signing of Antoine Griezmann. He’s answered those critics. Scoring six goals in seven games, he’s currently Barcelona’s top scorer and remains the archetypal poacher.
Antoine Greizmann (LW) – Griezmann came off the bench against Valladolid but expect him to start at Levante. His move from Atlético Madrid in the summer was one of the biggest transfer stories of all time. He’s fitted in well in Catalonia, scoring four and assisting three in his eight starts. Neymar who?