16 December 2018
Levante and Barcelona will face-off at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia, with the hosts hoping to repeat astonishing success from last season when they’ve beat Barca at home by five goals to four.
Although they sit sixth in the table with a nine-point deficit to the Catalans, Levante’s form over the last five LL meetings has seen just one victory. Granotas’s defensive frailties place Paco Lopez’s team as the second-worst defensive crew in the Spanish top flight with a tally of 25 goals conceded in the opening 15 league fixtures. In spite of winning three of their last five home encounters, Levante’s weak defense has endured just twice in the process. What’s more, Oier Olazabal has conceded a minimum of two goals per match in four out of seven home clashes since the start of the season, including six against Sevilla back in September.
Meanwhile, the reigning champions are looking to clinch their third straight league triumphs following ruthless victories over Villarreal and Espanyol, in which they didn’t concede a single goal. Although unbeaten in their last six matches across all competitions, the Catalan giants come into this encounter after a 1-1 draw with Tottenham in the Champions League. However, along with Real Sociedad, the Blaugrana are the only team in La Liga to secure four triumphs on the road this campaign. Ernesto Valverde’s men have clinched two wins on their last four road trips, keeping one clean sheet during the run. The burning issue that troubles Valverde this term is his backline’s poor performance, which has seen Barcelona conceding at least one goal in 11 out of their opening 15 league outings.
Provisional line-up – Levante:
Gk: Oier Defense: Chema – Rober – Tono – Erick Cabaco Midfield: Jose Campana – Morales – Jason – Bardhi Attack: Roger Marti – Rochina
Provisonal line-up – Barcelona:
Gk: Marc-Andre ter Stegen Defense: Jordi Alba – Lenglet – Pique – Semedo Midfield: Arturo Vidal – Sergio Busquets – Rakitic Attack: Lionel Messi – Luis Suarez – Ousmane Dembele
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