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Primera División

  • April 20, 2013
  • • 19:00
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
  • • Attendance: 70957
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Barcelona-Levante Preview: Blaugrana look to close in on Liga title

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

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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


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.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • 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.

Players to watch

Tello

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The 21-year-old forward struck an impressive double as an understrength Barcelona side coasted to victory at Zaragoza last Sunday. Tello's raw pace adds a different dimension to Barca's attack and he will be keen to state his case for inclusion in the team for the Champions League clash against Bayern Munich with another solid performance against Levante.

N. El Zhar

Position: Midfielder

Games: 5

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The Morocco international is likely to be handed a start as Juan Ignacio Martinez seeks to reinvigorate an attack that has found the net just three times in its last seven outings in all competitions. El Zhar has scored just two Liga goals in 25 Liga apperances this season and will look to improve on that dismal record at Camp Nou.

Editor's Prediction

This should be a banker home win for Barcelona, who have been in imperious form in La Liga and will look to wrap up the title as soon as possible to fully concentrate on Europe. Levante appear to have run out of steam after competing in three competitions with a small squad and could suffer another big defeat at Camp Nou.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Barcelona

Levante

Wins
4
1
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

FC Barcelona FCB
FC Barcelona Barcelona
Draw
Levante UD LEV
Levante UD Levante
80%
17%

Top 3 Predictions

FC Barcelona FCB
5 - 0
Levante UD LEV
FC Barcelona FCB
3 - 0
Levante UD LEV
FC Barcelona FCB
4 - 0
Levante UD LEV

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