Ernesto Valverde’s side travel to Valencia to face the team who turned them over 5-4 in May, knowing a win would send them clear at the top of La Liga
With Christmas just around the corner, the festive season is truly upon La Liga as Barcelona look to keep their stronghold intact at the top of the table.
Ernesto Valverde’s side are level on points with Sevilla and Atletico Madrid following victories for those teams on Sunday and Saturday respectively, but can go clear once more with a win or a draw when they visit Levante.
The champions will remember all too well, however, their visit to the Ciutat de Valencia last time, when their dreams of completing an unbeaten domestic campaign went up in smoke in a sensational 5-4 defeat in May, two games from the end of the season.
Paco Lopez has guided his team to a much-improved campaign this year too, taking them to seventh place in a congested upper half of the table – and he will be hoping lightning strikes twice for the visit for the Catalan giants.
|Game||Levante vs Barcelona|
|Date||Sunday, December 16|
|Time||7:45pm GMT / 2:45pm ET|
|Stream (US)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|beIN Sports||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be shown on television but can be streamed on Eleven Sports.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Goalkeepers||Oier, Koke, Fernandez|
|Defenders||Cabaco, Rober, Benito, Chema, Coke, Postigo, Luna|
|Midfielders||Jason, Rochina, Campana, Bardhi, Tono, Prcic, Vukcevic|
|Forwards||Roger, Morales, Mayoral, Simon, Dwamena, Boateng|
Levante XI: Oier; Rober Pier, Cabaco, Postigo; Jason, Bardhi, Campaña, Toño; Rochina, Boateng, Morales. .
|Goalkeepers||Ter Stegen, Cillessen|
|Defenders||Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Miranda, Vermaelen|
|Midfielders||Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal, Denis Suarez, Arthur, Alena|
|Forwards||Messi, Luis Suarez, Coutinho, Dembele, Munir|
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Vermaelen, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Suarez, Dembele.
Barcelona are favourites to win, with odds of 2/9 at bet365 . Levante are at 9/1, while a draw is priced at 6/1.
Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more .
They might not have quite lit up La Liga like they did last season, but there’s no denying Barcelona are odds-on favourites to retain their championship crown as they look to go clear at the summit once more.
Ernesto Valverde’s side currently sit level pegging with Sevilla and Atletico Madrid, but can pull away once more with victory later.
Lionel Messi and company will have something else in the back of their minds, too, no matter how hard they try to quash it; revenge.
They travel to Levante for the first time since the Valencia club turned them over in an extraordinary 5-4 encounter in the penultimate game of the last campaign to prevent the Catalan side from going unbeaten domestically through a full year for the first time.
Paco Lopez’s team know how to get a result against their visitors, even if the likelihood of delivering a repeat scoreline remains rather slim.
It adds an intriguing undercurrent to their encounter, particularly with Levante having survived a relegation battle in May to emerge as genuine top-six contenders in La Liga.
Both sides are missing a handful of players through injury, however, and it is the hosts who are most likely to suffer, with captain Pedro Lopez unable to feature.
Barcelona otherwise have quality in reserves and will be hoping to exact some payback in order to scale the peak of the table alone once more.
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