noscript image

Barcelona v Levante - Preview and possible lineups

Barcelona are looking to overturn a narrow first leg deficit. EFE

Barcelona v Levante - Preview and possible lineups

We look ahead to Thursday's Copa del Rey round of 16 second leg tie between Barcelona and Levante at the Camp Nou.

TEAM NEWS:

Barcelona: 

Barcelona's lineup should be bolstered by the return of Arturo Vidal and Ousmane Dembele. Carles Alena and Jasper Cillesesen are also set to start. Jeisen Murillo put in a solid performance on his debut in the first leg, and so the ex-Valencia defender is likely to start again. Given the importance of this match, and the side's 2-1 deficit, stars Messi and Suarez could well be involved from the beginning.

Whether Philippe Coutinho, subject of intense criticism in recent weeks, will make the first XI remains to be seen. His presence in the team, or lack thereof, will inevitably be the source of much discussion. In terms of those missing out, Thomas Vermaelen and Sergi Samper are not expected to play, while long-term absentees Rafinha and Samuel Umtiti will not feature.

Levante:

Borja Mayoral, talk of the town since he completed his loan move from Real Madrid, will be expected to continue up front after his fine performance in the first leg. Emmanuel Boateng, Aitor Fernandez and Moses Simon should also start. Ruben Rochina and Coke. who were both rested in last weekend's league match against Atletico, should return to the side. Jose Luis Morales could feature - Levante's star man being controversially left on the bench in the first leg.

MANAGERS' THOUGHTS:

Ernesto Valverde on Levante's threat and the role of Barca's fans:

"It's a decisive game and we want to get through to the quarter-finals. Let's hope there is a great atmosphere in the stadium and the fans get behind us as with them we are stronger."

"Levante have high quality players and they are a team who score a lot of goals. Furthermore, they are getting good results away from home."

FORM GUIDE:

DID YOU KNOW?

The last cup clash between these two teams happened four years ago. Barcelona will have the fonder memories of the tie, in which they ran out 9-2 aggregate winners. 

There is hope for Levante though, as they recorded a remarkable 5-4 victory in last season's league meeting. 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS:

Barcelona: Cillessen; Semedo, Murillo, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Busquets, Alena; Dembele, L Suarez, Messi.

Levante: Aitor; Postigo, Chema, Cabaco; Coke, Prcic, Campana, Simon; Rochina; Mayoral, Boateng.

Charles Whitehead

Charles Whitehead

news 69 RANK 24
READS 570K RANK 19
More news author

Follow BeSoccer on Facebook