Barcelona entertain struggling Levante in La Liga
Barcelona, Feb 14 (IANS) FC Barcelona will look to maintain their impressive current form when they entertain struggling Levante in a La Liga encounter at the Camp Nou Stadium here Sunday.
After a defeat away to Real Sociedad in the first weekend of January, Barcelona have been virtually unstoppable, sweeping all before them in both the La Liga and the Kings Cup, reports Xinhua.
Coach Luis Enrique's men were especially impressive over the last week. They produced arguably their best display of the season to win 5-2 in Athletic Club Bilbao last Sunday and then beat Villarreal 3-1 in their King's Cup semi-final Wednesday.
One of the reasons for that upturn in form has been that coach Enrique has limited his squad rotations. He made changes on a game-by-game basis in order to preserve the legs of key players.
Enrique also resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes, which prevented the team picking up rhythm at the start of the year.
Another factor is the form of attacking trio Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. Neymar appears totally unaffected by the controversy over his signing for the club. Suarez has settled in and Messi is approaching his unstoppable best.
The Argentine will make his 300th league appearance for the club Sunday and he will be looking to add to his impressive scoring record in recent weeks. Messi has found the target in Barcelona's last 10 home games.
He along with goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is the only player to have figured in all of Barcelona's league matches this season. Bravo will return to the side after being rested during the week.
Levante travel to Barcelona buoyed by an impressive 4-1 win at home to Malaga last weekend. The side coached by the experienced Lucas Alcaraz had gone into that game bottom of the table. But they produced their best performance of the season against a rival aiming to qualify for Europe.
Striker David Barral netted a hat-trick in that game. But with Barcelona at their best, it is hard to imagine another upset Sunday.