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Levante vs Barcelona, La Liga: Team News, Match Preview

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The leaders face a tough road trip looking to stay top of the table

FC Barcelona v Villarreal CF - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

FC Barcelona (1st, 31pts) vs Levante (7th, 22pts)*


*Points and positions at the time of writing on Saturday

Competition/Round: 2018-19 La Liga, Matchday 16

Barcelona Outs and Doubts: Samuel Umtiti, Sergi Roberto, Malcom, Sergi Samper, Rafinha (out)

Levante Outs and Doubts: Armando Sadiku, Samu García (out), José Luis Morales, Cheick Doukouré, Pedro López (doubt)

Date/Time: Sunday, December 16, 2018, 8.45pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 7.45pm GMT (UK), 2.45pm ET, 11.45am PT (USA), 1.15am IST (India, Monday)

Venue: Estadio Ciutat de València, València, Spain

Referee: José Luis González González

How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), Eleven Sports 1 (UK), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), others

How to stream: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA & Canada), others


Following a great night of Champions League football and a draw against Tottenham Hotspur to finish the group stage, Barcelona return to action in La Liga with a road game against Levante on Sunday. The Blaugrana are still top of the league, but Atlético Madrid are now level on points thanks to their win over Valladolid.

So Barça come into this one with a simple job: get a win and be three points clear going into the final match of 2019, at home against Celta Vigo. But beating Levante won’t be easy: they were the only team to defeat Barça in La Liga last season, with a 5-4 win that will go down as one of the most memorable matches in recent league history.

It was that result that stopped Barça from going the entire season undefeated with just two weeks left in the campaign, and there’s still a bitter taste in the mouth of Barça fans going into this one. If the players also remember that night, they’ll certainly be hungry for revenge. We’ll see if they do it.


POSSIBLE LINEUPS

Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suárez, Dembélé

Levante (3-5-2): Oier; Cabaco, Rober, Chema; Jason, Rochina, Campaña, Bardhi, Toño; Martí, Morales


PREDICTION

This will be tough, but we’re getting revenge for the 5-4 last season with a dominant 3-0 victory. I like the team right now.