Levante - Barcelona Preview: Blaugrana gunning for 11th consecutive Liga win

The Catalan giants face a tricky test against the Granotas, who are still within touching distance of the Champions League places despite their midweek defeat at Sporting Gijon



Lopez, Ballesteros, Cabral, Juanfran
Torres, Iborra
Valdo, Barkero, Botelho

Alves, Mascherano, Puyol, Adriano
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Fabregas, Messi, Sanchez

Levante trio Javi Venta, Javier Farinos and Arouna Kone are minor doubts for Saturday's visit of Barcelona after sustaining knocks in the midweek defeat at Sporting Gijon.

Defender Asier del Horno is out with a thigh injury, but Juanlu could make his first appearance for the club since December after recovering from a broken fibula.

Barcelona have been boosted by the return of long-term injury victim Ibrahim Afellay, who has been cleared for match action and is likely to be included in the squad travelling to Valencia.

Dani Alves and Cesc Fabregas are set to return from injury and suspension respectively, although defender Gerard Pique is a doubt.

Meanwhile, Barca have announced that left-back Eric Abidal is recovering well after undergoing a liver transplant on Tuesday.

  • Levante have won three of their last four Liga matches at the Ciutat de Valencia.
  • The Granotas' last home victory over Barcelona was a 1-0 triumph in the Copa del Rey in January 2004.
  • Xavi Torres played for the Barcelona reserve team between 2007-09 and made a couple of appearances for the first-team under Pep Guardiola in May 2009.
  • With Tuesday's victory over Getafe, Pep Guardiola has equalled Frank Rijkaard's record of 112 wins in La Liga as Barca coach. Only Johan Cruyff has won more (183).
  • If he plays, Andres Iniesta (pictured right)will be making his 400th appearance in a Blaugrana shirt.