After Real Madrid scraped past Espanyol last night, narrowly escaping Catalunya with a 1-0 win, the onus is on FC Barcelona to return to winning ways tonight and secure a similar result against Levante UD. A win would not only restore confidence in the Blaugrana camp but it would also go some way to booking Barcelona's place in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.
With a relatively favourable draw on this side of the bracket, Barça are expected to progress to the final without too much hassle; but as we know from Sunday, Levante are more than capable of hassling Gerardo Martino's side.
A similar squad makes the trip to Valencia, meaning that the improvement will not come from the personnel, rather the improvement will need to come from the individuals and the team as a whole. The intensity will have to be upped, the tempo will have to increase and the defense will have to keep their focus at set plays.
As is almost always the case, Barcelona will be looking towards Lionel Messi to provide the inspiration from attack; Xavi and/or Cesc Fabregas will not only be required to control the midfield, but they may also need to provide a goal threat against what's likely to be a resilient Levante defense. Even Jose Manuel Pinto will need to be at his best -- after his performance last week, Martino must be confident of his side's chances.
The question is: do you share in his confidence? Predict the score of tonight's Copa del Rey quarter-finals clash between FC Barcelona and Levante UD by commenting with your prediction below. Best of luck!