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FC Barcelona News: 19 January 2014; Andres Iniesta Left Out of 18-Man Squad for Levante, Jean Marie Dongou Called Up

Stanley Chou

18-man squad named for Levante clash | FC Barcelona
Saturday morning’s training session at the Ciutat Esportiva was boosted by the sight of Andrés Iniesta exercising away from the main group on the training grounds. The Spanish international is recovering well from the knock to his left knee but will not be available for the match against Levante in the Ciutat de Valencia (kick-off 7 pm).

Squad have arrived in Valencia | FC Barcelona
Barça's first team arrived in Valencia this morning. landing at Manises airport at 11.30, before travellling straight to the team hotel. Tonight's league game against Levante kicks off at seven o'clock. Martino has taken 18 players for the game, including Barça B youngster Jean Marie Dongou, but without Alves, Iniesta, Puyol, Neymar, Afellay, Dos Santos, Cuenca or Oier.

Levante UD v FC Barcelona: Round one | FC Barcelona
The first of three matches in just ten days against Levante kicks off this evening in the Ciutat de Valencia (7 pm, GolT and Canal + Liga). It’s the opening match of the second half of the season and FC Barcelona will be looking to extend a great start to 2014 in which they have won three of the four matches and conceded no goals. Coming hot on the heels of this league clash, the same two sides will fight out a two-leg Cup tie, but manager Gerardo Martino has insisted the Cup will have nothing to do with this evening’s game.

Martino: "I don’t expect a repeat of the first match" | FC Barcelona
On the one hand, the 7-0 dismantling of Levante in the Camp Nou at the beginning of the season suggests that Barça fans will be pretty confident about tomorrow’s game, but manager Gerardo Martino remains cautious. "I believe that game wasn’t typical, especially looking at what Levante have done since then.

Four great league meetings between Levante and FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
The Ciutat de València has produced some emotional stuff for FC Barcelona over the years. Barça have clinched two Liga titles against the Valencians and it was also in their stadium that the club’s faith in its youth system produced one of its proudest moments. Here we pick four classic moments from previous games away to Levante

Another win for Man City in the Premier (4-2) | FC Barcelona
Manchester City beat Cardiff 4-2 this Saturday in matchday 22 of the English Premier League. The players coached by Manuel Pellegrini are in scintillating form and stormed to their ninth win in ten games with goals from Dzeko, Navas, Touré Yaya and Sergio Agüero.

5 talking points at the halfway point of the La Liga season - Yahoo Eurosport UK
There is no doubt about it — La Liga is very much a three-horse race. While Barca, Atletico and Real are within three points of one another, the next team — Athletic Bilbao — are 11 points off third spot. The three top teams’ respective records accentuate this significant disparity between themselves and the rest of the sides – Barca and Atletico have both won 16, drawn two and lost one, while Real have won 15, drawn two and lost two.

Bale on target in Madrid romp | Sky Sports Football
The Welshman sent a left-footed free-kick into the net midway through the first half after Cristiano Ronaldo had opened the scoring with a thunderous strike from over 30 yards out. Karim Benzema then widened the scoreline even further before the break, taking advantage of a fine move from Luka Modric, and in the second half Angel Di Maria scored his second goal in as many games before substitute Alvaro Morata piled further misery on Liga whipping boys Betis.

Late show from Garcia for Espanyol | Sky Sports Football
Espanyol captain Sergio Garcia struck a superb winner two minutes from time to earn his team a 1-0 Primera Division victory over Celta Vigo on Saturday night. The result lifted Espanyol to eighth in the standings and left Celta 16th, although Luis Enrique's men will count themselves unfortunate to have headed away from Barcelona empty-handed having more than held their own against largely negative opposition.

United target Koke signs new Atletico deal - Yahoo Eurosport UK
Marca reports that Koke’s contract was originally extended in September but the Vicente Calderon hierarchy were keen to improve the player’s terms once more. Koke has been a target for Manchester United and it is felt that the Premier League club’s interest was the primary driver behind the decision to re-negotiate. The release clause in Koke’s deal has been upped from €24m to €60m.

Elche add to Rayo worries |
Rayo Vallecano were pushed into further relegation trouble after losing 2-0 away to fellow strugglers Elche. The outcome of the game was never in doubt once the visitors went a goal and a player down after 19 minutes, Raul Baena shown a red card for bringing down Coro in the area and Edu Albacar scoring from the spot. Paco Jemez's side could only seek to limit the damage for the remainder of the game and did a good job of it until Javi Marquez doubled the lead on 79 minutes.

Osasuna dig deep for point |
The Pamplona-based side had found themselves slipping perilously close to the relegation zone but victories over Espanyol and Real Betis in their last two matches, combined with previous draws against Real Madrid and Celta Vigo, had eased their concerns. And they picked up another valuable point at ninth-placed Granada in a match the home side largely controlled - especially in the first half - but could not find a goal.

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