MX23RW : Tuesday, June 22 12:09:46| >> :60:2881:2881:
May 11, 2021 at 9pm UK at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia
LevanteLevante
3-3
BarcelonaBarcelona
Melero (57'), Luis Morales (59'), Leon (83')
de Frutos (67'), Luis Morales (78')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Messi (25'), Pedri (34'), Dembele (64')
de Jong (77'), Lenglet (90+1')

Preview: Levante vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's La Liga clash between Levante and Barcelona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Barcelona will be attempting to return to winning ways in La Liga when they head to Estadio Ciudad de Valencia on Tuesday evening to take on Levante.

Ronald Koeman's side played out a goalless draw with league leaders Atletico Madrid on Saturday afternoon, while Levante will enter this match off the back of an entertaining 2-2 draw with Alaves.


Match preview

Jorge de Frutos in action for Levante in March 2021© Reuters

Levante had been on a four-game losing run entering Saturday's clash with Alaves, suffering defeats to Villarreal, Sevilla, Elche and Celta Vigo since a 1-0 success over struggling Eibar towards the start of April.

The Valencia-based outfit came incredibly close to securing all three points on Saturday, with a double from Jose Luis Morales leaving them 2-1 ahead entering the final exchanges; Joselu came up with a late leveller for Alaves, though, as Levante's winless run in Spain's top flight stretched to five matches.

A record of nine wins, 12 draws and 14 defeats from 35 matches this season has seen Paco Lopez's side collect 39 points, which has left them in 13th position in the table, three points clear of 14th-placed Valencia.

The Frogs have finished 15th, 15th and 12th in their last three campaigns at this level, and despite a poor run of form in recent weeks, it has still been a solid season for the club, who will end 2020-21 with matches against Getafe (A) and Cadiz (H) on May 16 and May 23 respectively.

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi in action with Atletico Madrid's Koke in La Liga on May 8, 2021© Reuters

Barca, meanwhile, played out a goalless draw with Atletico on Saturday afternoon, which has handed the initiative to Real Madrid when it comes to the race for the title.

At the time of writing, Koeman's side are second in the table, two points behind leaders Atletico and one point clear of third-placed Real Madrid; Zinedine Zidane's team face Sevilla on Sunday night, though, and will therefore have the opportunity to move to the summit before Barca kick off here.

The Catalan giants simply have to win their next three matches against Levante, Celta Vigo and Eibar, and it might yet be enough to win the title; they were in an excellent position after beating Villarreal on April 25, but the 2-1 home defeat to Granada on April 29 was a hammer blow to their chances.

Barca will enter this match in a confident mood as they boast the best away record in La Liga this term, picking up 37 points from their 17 matches, while Levante have struggled for consistency at home, winning five, drawing seven and losing five of their 17 fixtures on their own patch.

The 26-time La Liga champions have won the last two league matches between the two sides, but they suffered a 3-1 defeat to Levante in the corresponding fixture last term.

Levante La Liga form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Barcelona La Liga form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D

Barcelona form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D



Team News

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Levante will again be without the services of Jose Campana, Nemanja Radoja and Nikola Vukcevic for Tuesday's clash with the title challengers.

The Frogs did not pick up any fresh injury problems against Alaves on Saturday, but it seems likely that head coach Lopez will shuffle his pack due to the relatively fast turnaround in games.

Ruben Vezo, Enis Bardhi and Roger Marti are all in line for spots in the starting side, but the likes of Morales, Jorge de Frutos and Dani Gomez should retain their positions for the home team.

As for Barca, Philippe Coutinho and Ansu Fati remain on the sidelines through injury, while Sergio Busquets will miss out due to the facial injury that he picked up against Atletico on Saturday.

Tests at hospital revealed that Busquets had suffered facial bruising and a broken jaw, but he could potentially be available before the end of the campaign.

Sergi Roberto could therefore earn a spot in midfield, while there might also be an alteration at the back, with Ronald Araujo potentially taking the place of Oscar Mingueza as part of a back three.

Ousmane Dembele is pushing for a spot in the first XI, but it seems likely that Antoine Griezmann will retain his spot in the final third of the field alongside Lionel Messi.

Levante possible starting lineup:
Cardenas; Miramon, Vezo, Rober, Clerc; De Frutos, Malsa, Bardhi, Morales; Gomez, Roger Marti

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Araujo, Pique, Lenglet; Dest, Roberto, De Jong, Pedri, Alba; Griezmann, Messi


SM words green background

We say: Levante 0-2 Barcelona

Barca simply have to win on Tuesday night as they look to stay in the title race, and we fancy an away win here. Levante's confidence will be low due to their recent struggles, and we are finding it difficult to back anything other than a routine victory for Koeman's team.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting that both teams will score (BTTS - yes) in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.BTTS Yes:data


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How you voted: Levante vs Barcelona

Levante
14.1%
Draw
9.9%
Barcelona
76.1%
213
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Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores against Valencia in La Liga on May 2, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1 38268467254286
2 38259467283984
3 38247785384779
4 38245953332077
5 3817111059382162
6 381710115050061
7 3815131060441658
8 381411135557-253
9 38137184765-1846
10 381113144642446
11 381111163748-1144
12 381111163658-2244
13 381013155053-343
14 38914154657-1141
15 38911182843-1538
16 38911183657-2138
17 38812183455-2136
18 38713183453-1934
19 38516173457-2331
20 38612202952-2330

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