Barcelona will have a lot of work to do when they face Levante for the second leg of the Cope Del Rey after having suffered a 2-1 defeat to Levante in the first encounter.
For the most part, a late Coutinho penalty was all that the Catalan giants got in their favour from this match.
Let’s take a look at the two teams and see what they have in store for us.
The Blaugrana’s made it six wins out of six when they faced Eibar on Sunday night. Two goals from Luis Suarez and a special from Lionel Messi made sure the Laliga leaders came out tops. Worthy of note is that the goal from Lionel Messi is his 400th in the Liga. He’s unbelievable!
Barcelona have their name written on this cup and would have to prove that when they face Levante on the return leg. Although, it took 85 minutes of play for the Catalans to register a goal, they would fancy their chances this time after netting that away goal.
With Messi in the team, they can be sure to be through to the next round.
Recent form (all competitions): D W W W L W
SEE ALSO >> Levante vs Barcelona Preview-Copa Del Rey, January 10 <<
Although, Levante won in the first leg of this encounter. Even so, they will be coming off the back of a 1-0 defeat to second-placed Athletico Madrid. The Valencia-based outfit are 12th-placed in the league following that loss. Even so, they must be praised for their resilience at the back.
That said, it will be asking for too much to think that they could defeat the Catalans at the Camp Nou. That’s close to impossible. Their first leg win however, will give them some level of hope coming into this one. Here’s a look at their current run of form.
Recent form (in all competitions): D L L D W L
Barcelona will remain without the services of Umtiti, Rafinha, Sergi Samper and Thomas Vermaelen. Messi and Luis Suarez are expected to feature this time around as it’s a must win for the team.
Levante forward, Borja Mayoral, should feature following his fantastic play in the reverse fixture. Emmanuel Boateng, Moses Simon, Aitor Fernandez, Coke and Ruben Rochina should also feature in the starting XI.
Possible Starting Line-Up
Cillessen; Alba, Lenglet, Murillo, Semedo; Alena, Busquets, Vidal; Dembele, Suarez, Messi.
Aitor; Cabaco, Chema, Postigo; Simon, Campana, Prcic, Coke; Rochina; Boateng, Mayoral.
It is expected that Barcelona make a mistake at the back as their most reliable centre-backs do not feature in the encounter. Even so, the Catalans should get a big win out of this one.
We say Barcelona 4- 1 Levante