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Levante vs Barcelona, Copa del Rey: Team News, Match Preview

The defending champions play a difficult Round of 16 first leg on the road

FC Barcelona v RC Celta de Vigo - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Levante UD vs FC Barcelona


Competition/Round: 2018-19 Copa del Rey, Round of 16 (1st Leg)

Barcelona Outs and Doubts: Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Ivan Rakitic, Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Munir, Samuel Umtiti, Sergi Samper, Thomas Vermaelen, Rafinha (out)

Levante Outs and Doubts: Armando Sadiku (out), Cheick Doukouré, Pedro López, Antonio Luna (doubt)

Date/Time: Thursday, January 10, 2019, 9.30pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8.30pm GMT (UK), 3.30pm ET, 12.30pm PT (USA), 2am IST (India, Friday)

Venue: Estadio Ciutat de València, València, Spain

Referee: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea

How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), others

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


January is here, and that means one thing in Spain: the Copa del Rey knockout stages! The Round of 16 and the quarterfinals will take place this month, and by the start of February we’ll know quite well if Barcelona will still be alive in their quest for a Treble. The Round of 16 starts with a trip to Levante for the first leg, and this one will be tricky.

Even though Barça destroyed the same opponents 5-0 in the same stadium less than a month ago, that Barça team had Messi and Luis Suárez in great form. Both are rested for Thursday, as well as Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba and Ivan Rakitic. Those are arguably Barça’s five best players this season, and it’ll be very interesting to see if the reserves can take on the challenge and get a good result on the road. Multiple away goals would be nice, and a great performance on top would be awesome. Let’s see what we get.


POSSIBLE LINEUPS

Barcelona (4-3-3): Cillessen; Semedo, Murillo, Lenglet, Miranda; Aleñá, Busquets, Arthur; Malcom, Dembélé, Coutinho

Levante (4-4-2): Aitor; Coke, Postigo, Chema, Toño; Simon, Prcic, Douokuré, Rochina; Boateng, Mayoral


PREDICTION

I’m a little nervous about the rotations and not having Messi and Suárez on fire out there, but I still think we’re good enough to get a couple of away goals and take a good result to Camp Nou: 2-1 to the good guys.

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