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April 20, 2013 11:30 PM IST
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ Alberto Undiano‎
Attendance:‬ 70957‎

Barcelona-Levante Preview: Blaugrana look to close in on Liga title

The Catalan giants will aim to continue their march towards a 22nd Primera Division crown but face a Granotes outfit looking to restore pride after heavy back-to-back defeats

By Karthick Arvinth

Gerard Piqué, Eric Abidal, Barcelona-Mallorca
Getty Images

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has returned to training after a thigh injury but is unlikely to start against Levante at Camp Nou on Saturday.

Sergio Busquets (groin) should also be fit but Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano (both knee) remain sidelined.

Levante midfielder Vicente Iborra is suspended after picking up his 10th yellow card of the season in the defeat against Deportivo La Coruna.

Boss Juan Ignacio Martinez has no other selection concerns but is likely to make changes to his starting XI after crushing back-to-back losses against Real Madrid and Deportivo.

  • Barcelona are on a 11-match winning run in La Liga.
  • With 98 goals scored in their 31 matches so far, the Blaugrana boast the best attack in the Primera Division.
  • Lionel Messi (pictured, right) is La Liga's top scorer this season with 43 goals in 29 appearances.
  • Levante are in an eight-match winless run away from home in La Liga (D3, L5).
  • The Valencian club have lost seven of their last eight meetings with Barcelona.
  • Levante have won just one of the six matches they have contested since the sale of Obafemi Martins to Major League Soccer outfit Seattle Sounders in March.

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
22Éric AbidalDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
17Alex SongMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
9David VillaStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
18Jordi AlbaDefender
9Alexis SánchezStriker
-K. NavasGoalkeeper
3David NavarroDefender
12Juan García GarcíaDefender
19Pedro LópezDefender
24Loukas VyntraDefender
25Nabil El ZharMidfielder
12Robert AcquafrescaStriker
-Gustavo MunúaGoalkeeper
5Héctor RodasDefender
14Pedro RíosStriker
-Roger MartíStriker
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Atlético de Madrid
27 5
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
17 0