Barcelona travel to face Levante in the Spanish La Liga this weekend in a bid to consolidate leadership at the top of the league.
They currently top the pile entering Week 16 in La Liga, but they have a tough assignment this weekend against a team that sits sixth in the table having enjoyed an impressive campaign to date.
Levante are 6th on the table, just four points off Real Madrid after managing 6th wins 4 draws and 5 defeats, amassing 22 points along the way.
They were promoted from the Segunda Division as winners in 2017. Levante secured another season of La Liga football by finishing 15th in the top flight last term. They have also now been present in eight of the last nine La Liga campaigns and are on course to secure another season of top-flight action.
The spanish outfit played out an incredible 4-4 draw with Eibar in the league last weekend, meanwhile, and there is no question that they have what it takes to upset a Barcelona defence which has been far from secure this season.
Armando Sadiku (knee), Samu Garcia (knee), Cheick Doukoure (calf) and Pedro Perez (muscle) are all injured and will be absent for the game against Barcelona.
Every other player is fit and have potential to feature.
Levante possible starting eleven:
Oier; Cabaco, Suarez, Chema; Tono, Bardhi, Gomez, Rochina, Jason; Marti, Morales
Barcelona top the table entering the latter stages of 2018, but it has happened with both ups and down. Ernesto Valverde’s side have already dropped points in six of their 15 league games this season, they have drawn 4 games and lost another two.
They maintain just a three-point lead over 2nd placed Sevilla and third placed Atletico Madrid, while leading fourth-placed Real Madrid with five points.
The Spanish champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League during the week. Although they had already booked their spot in the knockout stages as group winners ahead of the clash with the English club.
With the likes of Lionel Messi in pristine form, Barcelona should be able to survive the scare of Levante but as football has regularly shown, anything is possible.
Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique were all rested and some others were on the bench in the midweek and are expected to feature this weekend.
Barcelona possible starting eleven:
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Dembele, L Suarez, Messi
Head To Head
Barca have won five of the last six La Liga meetings between the pair, however, including a 2-0 success away to Levante during the 2015-16 season.