Barcelona may not yet have lost so far this season in La Liga, but the Catalan giants are desperate for a victory over Levante nonetheless. Ronald Koeman is already having to come out fighting over his position, ahead of the visit of the Granotes on Sunday afternoon.
Where and when: Nou Camp – 26 September, kick-off 15:15
Where you can see Barcelona vs. Levante: La Liga TV
Last time: Barca twice threw away the lead to eventually draw 3-3 away to Levante the last time these teams met back in May.
Barcelona v Levante Predictions and Preview
Although they remain unbeaten after four La Liga fixtures in 2021-22, Barcelona are a club in crisis. The pressure is mounting on their manager, who knows he cannot afford to lose this weekend as Levante head to the Nou Camp on Sunday.
The mood at Barca is awful after Monday’s 1-1 draw at home to Granada. The Blaugrana may have rescued a late draw courtesy of Ronald Araujo’s last-minute equaliser, but the home fans were dismayed at the style of football being played.
Koeman’s tactics of lumping the ball into the box where the likes of Gerard Pique – brought on for the final 15 minutes as an emergency forward – would attempt to win high balls is a far cry from the fluid, passing philosophy instilled by Johann Cruyff and refined by Pep Guardiola.
The Dutch coach has begged for patience and implored both supporters and the board alike to recognise this is a very different Barcelona to the one they’re used to. Even worse, the Catalans will be without a host of injured players this weekend, including Pedri, Sergio Aguero and Ousmane Dembele.
The likes of Ansu Fati cannot return soon enough, with Barca’s hectic schedule including a trip to Cadiz three days before this game. Levante coach Paco Lopez, on the other hand, has two more days to prepare following Tuesday’s 2-0 home defeat to Celta Vigo.
That was only Levante’s second loss of the season, but the Granotes are yet to win any of their six fixtures to date. Lopez’s side have drawn four times against Cadiz, Real Madrid, Rayo Vallecano and Elche, while also losing 1-0 to Real Sociedad.
The visitors are out at 15/2 with William Hill to pick up their maiden victory of the season in this Barcelona v Levante preview. That’s not a bad price given they’ve been tough to beat and in light of Barca’s woes, although the draw looks more realistic for the Granotes at 5/1.
Barca are still the heavy odds-on favourites at 21/50 though, even if they find themselves continuing to flail in the absence of Lionel Messi. The Catalans have only lost two of their last 26 La Liga matches against Levante, winning 19. Recording victory number 20 of that run this weekend is paramount.
One to watch for Barcelona: Memphis Depay has made a solid start to his career in Catalonia, with the Dutchman the 10/3 favourite to open the scoring in these Barcelona v Levante predictions.
One to watch for Levante: Roger Marti has scored two key goals so far this term for the Granotes against Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano. He is 12/5 in the anytime scorer market on Sunday.
Long shot: Levante beat Barca by a remarkable 5-4 scoreline in May 2018. Another nine goal thriller here would pay out on an over 8.5 goals bet at 50/1. If you want to predict the correct score in these Barcelona v Levante tips, a 6-3 home win is priced at 150/1, rising to an eye-opening 650/1 with Depay scoring first.