Preview - Levante vs Barcelona 17 December 18

Started by Harry85, Dec 16, 2018, 03:49 AM

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Match Day 16
Levante vs. Barcelona
Monday, December 17th 2018
03:45am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Ciutat de València

Last five matches form: D L D W D
Average goals per match: 1.80
Average goals against per match: 1.67
Top Scorer: Roger Martí ( 8 )

Last five matches form: W L D W W
Average goals per match: 2.73
Average goals against per match: 1.27
Top Scorer: Lionel Messi (11)

League leaders Barcelona travel to Levante for the latest leg in the defence of their title as the bid to keep up the pressure on the chasing pack with a win over La Liga's seventh placed side.

This game ended in a remarkable 5-4 win for Levante last season, a victory which derailed Barcelona's unbeaten season almost at the final hurdle. Barcelona came out on top in the game at Camp Nou when winning 3-0.

Samu García and Armando Sadiku miss out for the home side in this one. Malcom, Rafinha and Samuel Umtiti are on the side-lines for Barcelona.

Levante have enjoyed a rock solid start to the season under Paco López and head into this game only two points off the top six.

The home side have lost just one of their past nine in La Liga. Their form at home has been a little mixed to date though with three wins and three defeats from their seven games to date. They have at least scored in their past 13 on home turf though.

Barcelona have only been occasionally spectacular so far this season, but are nevertheless top of the standings with their only two defeats coming away at Leganes and at home to Real Betis. They have lost just twice in their past 29 away from home in La Liga, scoring in every one of those games.

As impressive as Levante have been, Barcelona remain a class above their hosts and one suspects they may have a bit of revenge on their minds following that defeat here last season.

Prediction: Levante 1 - 4 Barcelona


Half time: 0 - 2
Full time: 0 - 5
Shots:  17 - 16
Shots on target: 7 - 10
Corner Kicks: 15 - 3
Possession: 49% - 51%

Rober Pier and Jason were booked for the home side who also had Erick Cabaco shown a straight red card in the 76th minute. Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic and Jordi Alba of Barcelona also had their names taken by referee Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez.

Much like last season, there were a few goals around in this one. Unlike last season though, they were all for Barcelona this time around as they avenged that perfect season ending defeat in some style. This wasn't a 0-5 on the stats, but Barcelona were simply at a different level to their opponents in the fnial third.

Levante held out until the 35th minute. Barcelona nicking the ball on the right corner of the eighteen-yard box and Lionel Messi working his way all the way from right to left before clipping a reverse cross back into the area to find Luis Suarez who finished first time on the volley into the top left from around ten yards. Excellent finish.

The second came two minutes before the break. Sergio Busquets intercepting the ball just inside his own half and immediately playing in Messi in the right channel. Messi outpacing his pursuer before finishing into the bottom left corner from the right-hand side around eight yards out. 0-2 at the break.

Barcelona carried on where they left off and added a third just two minutes into the second half. Suarez to Jordi Alba bursting down the left. Jordi Alba back to Messi arriving just inside the eighteen-yard box to sweep home into the bottom right.

Messi had his hat-trick on the hour mark. Suarez free down the right and firing a low ball into the area which made its way all the way through to Arturo Vidal beyond the far post. Vidal back across goal and Messi tapping in from a few yards.

The fifth came five minutes from time. Gerard Pique starting the move inside his own area and continuing to link up play as he ventured forward, eventually receiving the ball from Messi around eight yards from goal and showing all the composure of a centre forward to cut inside and finish low into the net. 5-0 final score.

Barcelona stay top of the table; three points clear of Sevilla and Atletico. Levante drop down a spot to eighth.

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