Levante UD (14th, 39pts) vs FC Barcelona (3rd, 75pts)
Competition/Round: 2020-21 La Liga, Matchday 36
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho, Matheus Fernandes (out)
Levante Outs & Doubts: José Campaña, Nemanja Radoja, Nikola Vucevic, Sergio Postigo (doubt)
Date/Time: Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 10pm CET (Barcelona), 9pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 4pm ET, 1pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Wednesday)
Venue: Estadi Ciutat de València, Valencia, Spain
Referee: José Luis Munuera Montero
VAR: César Soto Grado
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), Not Available (India), others
Following a brutally disappointing performance and a wasted chance to become title favorites in La Liga at the weekend, Barcelona return to action with an away game against Levante in the beautiful city of Valencia.
Had Barça done their job and beaten Atlético Madrid on Saturday, they would have been top of the table with three winnable games ahead to finish the job and conquer the title thanks to Real Madrid’s draw with Sevilla on Sunday. Ivan Rakitic clearly still loves Barça and tried his hardest to help, but his former club just can’t get their stuff together when it matters most.
This will be the legacy of the season: when it really counted, Barça disappeared. They were outcoached, outplayed and outthought in every big game, and the failure to win the recent crucial matchups at home against Granada and Atlético, which would have pretty much guaranteed the championship, are prime examples of that.
Ronald Koeman is trying as hard as he possibly can to not be back as manager next season, and another bad result against Levante will not help him win Joan Laporta over. Barça once again have the chance to go top of the table as they play before the two Madrid teams, and putting pressure on Real and Atlético, who both have tough games in midweek, is an obligation for Barça.
Levante have always been a tough team to play against but this is a great time to face them, with Tuesday’s hosts having won just two home games in all of 2021 and coming into this one on a five-game winless streak which includes four losses. Barça are clear favorites and must win while performing well, not only to keep their small title hopes alive but to finish the season with some dignity.
Barcelona (3-5-2): Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Araujo, Lenglet; Roberto, De Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Alba; Messi, Griezmann
Levante (3-4-1-2): Fernández; Coke, Duarte, Vezo; Son, Pier, Melero, Toño; Rochina; Martí, Morales
Barça have been pretty good away from home in 2021 and they’re not really under pressure anymore, so I actually expect a good performance from this team when games don’t matter too much: 4-1 Barça.