The Catalans' summer has been strangely paradoxical with the euphoria of signing the stunningly talented Neymar juxtaposed with the sense of frustration amongst fans at their hitherto failure to recruit the centre-back they so desperately need.
Nevertheless, Tata Martino's first game in charge should see a comfortable victory and Paddy Power price a home win at 1/11 (1.09), with Levante offered at 20/1 (21.00).
While there are question marks over how Neymar will fit into the team and whether his arrival will upset the balance of the side, even the naysayers must surely admit that the Brazilian should increase the number of goals Barcelona score. At the very least take, he should take some of the pressure off Lionel Messi, who scored the majority of Barca's goals last season.
Backing over 3.5 goals in the game is offered at just 4/7 (1.57) and, while it has every chance of paying out, the price is just too small to consider.
Instead, try backing Barcelona to be ahead after20 minutes, offered at 6/5 (2.20) which looks like an excellent option.
This bet paid out in 10 home matches for Barca last season and against a weakened Levante side, who have lost many of their experienced players in the summer, Barca's attacking prowess has every chance of producing a goal inside the first 20 minutes and offering a healthy return on a medium-sized investment.
|Barcelona to be ahead at 20 minutes at 6/5 (2.20) 1pt stake with Paddy Power|
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid