Levante vs Barcelona : All you need to know about Copa del Rey Round of 16

Ernesto Valverde - Football Hitz

Barcelona are back in action on Thursday as they journey down to Levante for the first leg of this season’s Copa del Rey round-16 fixture.

The Camp Nou outfits have won the competition for four consecutive seasons and they hope to make it five later in the year.

Valverde’s men recorded an aggregate 5-1 victory over Cultural Leonesa in the previous round of the competition , they would hope to maintain their high goalscoring form against Levante on Thursday.

The Blaugranas are doing great at the moment and Lionel Messi is looking sharp and deadly in front of goal, though, the Argentine may not fixture in tomorrow’s game.

As for Levante, Barcelona are definitely going to be a massive test of character for them. The home side were defeated 5-0 by the same opponents in the Spanish League last month and they are on a revenge mission to get one past the Catalans.

They defeated second tier side Ludo 3-1 in the round-32 stages of the competition to progress to this point and they will target a win against the Spanish giants on Thursday.

Team News

Levante

Levante manager Paco Lopez may give some of his regular starters much-needed rest against Barcelona. This is because of their upcoming clash with Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

To this effect, Roger Marti and Jose Morales — both of whom have been phenomenal for the team all through this season — will make way for Boateng and Dwamena in the manager’s starting lineup.

Winger Mayorla who is on a loan-deal from Real Madrid is also set for a starting role against the La Liga Champions.

Barcelona

Considering the quality of their upcoming opponents and the size of his squad, Barcelona manager Enersto Valverde is going to make several changes to his starting lineup.

Messi, Suarez, Dembele, Coutinho and Ter Stegen are all set for a place on the substitute bench while fringe members of the team could be given the chance to feature from the start.

Denis Suarez — who is reportedly close to joining Arsenal — might get the nod to start alongside Munir and La Masia’s product Juan Brandariz.

Probable Line-up

Barcelona

Cillessen; Semedo, Brandariz, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Alena; Malcolm, D.Suarez, Munir.

Levante

Fernandez; Coke, Cabaco, Rober, Luna; Simon, Campana, Bardhi, Mayoral; Boateng, Dwamena

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Kazeem Olawale

Kazeem Olawale

Kazeem Olawale, 24-year old sports writer. An avid Arsenal and Real Madrid fans. If not here, always making round on his banter Arsenal blog, www.goonerrepublic.com