NEWS
Sunday January 7 2018
Preview: Barca-Levante

Lionel Messi will make his 400th appearance in La Liga when Barcelona host Levante on Sunday.

Messi’s 399 League games for Barca to date have yielded eight titles, 364 goals, 167 assists, 38 yellow cards and no sendings-off.

He is set to partner Luis Suarez in a two-pronged attack against Levante, but the South Americans won’t be joined at Camp Nou by Samuel Umtiti and Paco Alcacer, both of whom are still injured.

The Valencians, meanwhile, are La Liga’s joint-lowest winners with just three victories all season and have not picked up three points since November.

Furthermore, they are without key personnel in Chema, Roger Marti, Ivan Lopez, Jose Campana, Enis Bardhi and top scorer Jose Luis Morales for the trip to Catalonia.

“Messi’s a great player, but I prefer to talk about my players, who are also very good players, and they’re going to make Messi small,” Coach Juan Muniz said at a Press conference.

“We’ll try so that Messi doesn’t play or participate. We’ll try to have a good game and that Messi has a good Champions League Final but not a good performance against us.

“We’re going to a great stadium. If we’re able to leave with a good result, it will help alleviate many things.”

Barca have never lost to Levante in the top flight and won all their meetings with the newly-promoted side at home.

Barcelona (confirmed): Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Mascherano, Vermaelen, Alba; Rakitic, Paulinho, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Dembele

Injuries/suspensions: Arda, Umtiti, Alcacer (I) Busquets (S)

Levante (connfirmed): Oier; Moore, Postigo, Cabaco, Luna; Lerma, Lukic; Jason, Doukoure, Ivi; Boateng

Injuries/suspensions: Chema, Roger, Ivan (I) Morales, Bardhi, Campana (S)

Referee: Estrada Fernandez

Form guide: Levante – 16th (D D L D L) Barca –1st (W W W D D)

Previous meeting: Levante 0-2 Barca

Venue: Camp Nou

Kick-off time: 15:15 GMT/16:15 local time

Football Italia website