Last weekend’s Classico draw on one side and the midweek thrashing of Villareal on the other, Barcelona are showing no signs of slowing down since wrapping up the La Liga title against Deportivo. Barcelona are in the frame for going an entire La Liga season unbeaten, and a trip to Valencia to face Levante awaits them.
Ernesto Valverde’s side will need a point to confirm an unbeaten season away from home, while they have already surpassed the record for the most games unbeaten with 43. In this tie, all the pressure will be on Barcelona to perform and get a result against a side that has been on the rise since March.
Levante have had a tough season to endure, with many tipping the La Liga strugglers for relegation quite early this season. Those predictions were based on their disastrous form this season, but since the appointment of new head coach Paco Lopez in March, the struggling side have won five games from six, losing only to Atletico Madrid.
Paco Lopez’s side have been performing well under his guidance and the manager is unlikely to make significant changes to face Barcelona. The only possible change or choice would be to choose their striker to play up front with the choice. Lopez has to make a decision between Jason and Roger to start up front against Barcelona.
Midfielder Cheick Doukoure will miss the game through injury, as will left-back Kono, who is yet to recover from his.
Potential Starting-XI (4-4-2) – Olazabal; Coke, Postigo, Chema, Luna; Bardhi, Lerma, Campana, Morales; Jason, Boateng
Ernesto Valverde is set to welcome back some of his star names who started on the bench during the midweek thrashing of Villareal. Star names like Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Jordi Alba were rested and could start against Levante.
Lionel Messi is certain to start as the Argentine superstar chases Mohamed Salah for the European Golden Boot. In defence, Valverde could hand Thomas Vermaelen further game time ahead of the World Cup, as well as make a choice between Ter Stegen and Cillesen for the goalkeeping spot, although the German would be preferred.
Potential Starting-XI (4-4-2) – Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Vermaelan, Alba; Dembele, Busquets, Rakitic, Coutinho; Messi, Suarez
Lionel Messi, despite winning the league and a Champions League disappointment still has a prize to protect in the European Golden Boot race. The Argentine will be eager to get on the scoresheet against Levante and keep the small gap between him and Mohamed Salah which currently stands at 2-goals.
Messi will also be hoping to be on top of his game and form ahead of the World Cup in Russia, but in the immediate present, his aim is to secure an unbeaten season for Barcelona.
Levante might have won four games on the trot recently, but they are set to face a Barcelona side which has not been in such a streak of form since Pep Guardiola’s managerial days. Levante’s defence has been strong to withhold sides of late but in Barcelona, they face the wrath of Luis Suarez and Golden Boot chasing Lionel Messi.
The Blaugrana’s attack and defence will prove too much for Levante and although Paco Lopez will try to take a tactical route against Barcelona, the result is set to go with the Catalans, considering the quality.