La Liga Preview: Barcelona - Levante
The Catalan side entertains Juan Ignacio Martinez's troops as it hopes to keep pace with Real Madrid just one week before El Clasico.
By Martin Macdonald
Alves, Puyol, Mascherano, Abidal
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Messi, Cesc, Villa
Venta, Ballesteros, Lopez, Del Horno
Valdo, Torres, Farinos, Juanlu
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has a few injury problems going into the match against Levante. Ibrahim Afellay is still sidelined and will be out for the foreseeable future after injuring his knee ligaments earlier in the season.
Brazilian full-back Adriano is also missing for the Catalan giants after pulling a hamstring in the midweek victory over Rayo Vallecano, and will also miss the Champions League match against BATE Borisov next week. Gerard Pique, meanwhile, picked up a yellow card in the match against Rayo, and so the Barca defender will be suspended.
Levante has a few injury issues of its own. On Thursday, defender Nano trained apart from his teammates as he battles to recover from the ankle injury he suffered in the latter part of the victory over Sporting.
Manager Juan Ignacio Martinez is also sweating over the fitness of winger Juanlu, who exercised at a lower intensity on Thursday as he aims to shake off an injury to his right leg. However, it looks likely that he will make the grade against Barcelona. Jose Barkero misses the game as he serves a suspension.
||DID YOU KNOW|
- The last match between Barcelona and Levante ended in a 1-1 draw in La Liga at the end of last season.
- Barcelona has scored nearly double the amount of goals that Levante has notched in the league this season, 42 to 23.
- Barca has scored 34 goals at Camp Nou in the Spanish Primera Division this season, without reply.
- If Levante manages to win the match at Camp Nou, it will go just two points behind Barcelona in La Liga.
- Levante's top goalscorer this season is winger Juanlu, who has scored six goals in 11 appearances.
- Prior to Levante's 4-0 win over Sporting last weekend, Juan Ignacio Martinez's side had lost three games on the bounce, which included losses against Valencia and Atletico Madrid.
Top 3 Predictions
Barcelona 3-0 Levante
- 17.62 %
Barcelona 5-0 Levante
- 14.86 %
Barcelona 4-0 Levante
- 12.69 %
|La Liga (LIGA)||Aug 18, 2013||Barcelona 7 - Levante 0|
|La Liga (LIGA)||Apr 20, 2013||Barcelona 1 - Levante 0|
|La Liga (LIGA)||Nov 25, 2012||Levante 0 - Barcelona 4|
|La Liga (LIGA)||Apr 14, 2012||Levante 1 - Barcelona 2|
|La Liga (LIGA)||Dec 3, 2011||Barcelona 5 - Levante 0|
|Dec 17, 2013||Barcelona 3 - F.C. Cartagena 0||ESPC|
|Dec 14, 2013||Barcelona 2 - Villarreal 1||LIGA|
|Dec 11, 2013||Barcelona 6 - Celtic 1||UCL|
|Dec 6, 2013||F.C. Cartagena 1 - Barcelona 4||ESPC|
|Dec 1, 2013||Athletic Bilbao 1 - Barcelona 0||LIGA|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|-||Asier Del Horno||Defender|
|12||Juan García García||Defender|
|12||Gustavo Daniel Cabral||Defender|
|25||Nabil El Zhar||Midfielder|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed