The third game in a week for Barça comes against Levante at the Camp Nou, this comes after a dreary and disappointing result against Cadiz, where we drew 0-0. Our recent performances have been lacklustre and quite frankly hard to watch. And it seems like we’ve only been getting worse. One of the most worrying facts is that we haven’t won a game since before the international break, where we beat Getafe 2-1. But even then, we weren’t performing well at all. Barça currently sit 7th in the table, 7 points behind the leaders, Real Madrid.
We do have a game in hand, but we are still far off the rest at the moment. We are where we shouldn’t be. The season is very long and it’s only just begun, we started in a similar way last season and then we regained some form in the new year. But we really need to start getting some more points on the board. We can not afford to be left behind early on. The performances have to improve. Yes, we do have a lot of important injuries, but regardless, we still have a a better team than Cadiz, Granada and Levante. These are games that we should be winning, especially this Sunday when we are also at home! In the short match preview, we are going to be looking at how Levante have begun the season. Aswell as the lineup we are most likely to see tomorrow.
How have Levante started the season?
Much like our last few opponents, Levante have started the season in a disappointing way. Winless in their first 6 games of the season, Levante find themselves in 16th place, just a point above the relegation zone. However, so far they have been able to cause Real Madrid to drop points after a 3-3 draw at the Ciutat De Valencia. Their most recent result was a 2-0 loss at home to 17th placed Celta Vigo. Fact of the matter is, Barça should be winning this game. Regardless of the injuries and suspensions we have, we still have a better squad than Levante and should definitely be able to get a positive result against them. Especially when you consider, we are playing at home. Once again however, it’s a game we need to take seriously. But quite simply, we just need to perform better than we have done recently.
Tough past matches
Levante is a team that can cause us problems. And they tend to always turn up against us aswell, no matter how poor their recent form has been. You only have to go back and think about what happened towards the end of last season. In a game where we could’ve saved one last chance of winning the league, we capitulated in the second half and completely threw away any way of winning La Liga.
A couple seasons before, we again, faced Levante away from home. Baring in mind we were just a couple games away from going unbeaten for the whole season. However just at the end of the season, whilst resting key players, we lost 5-4 against Levante. Thus throwing away our unbeaten season. Tomorrow is going to be another tricky game, and the fact that we haven’t been performing well recently either doesn’t give me a lot of encouragement. But one thing is for sure, we need to drastically improve how we are playing. Because what we have seen recently is quite simply not good enough.
Possible lineup for tomorrow’s game:
Personally, I would expect a fairly similar lineup tomorrow to what we saw against Cadiz.
Defensively, we weren’t too bad, we just lacked a lot of creativity, especially in the first half. In the second half we did improve a little, but still lacked creativity. Which is why I think the defence is going to be the exact same as it was against Cadiz. Eric Garcia could possibly come in for Pique, but that’s the only thing I could see changing there. Ter stegen had a fantastic game and pulled off some remarkable saves to keep us in the game, so hopefully this is a sign of him slowly getting back to his best!
In midfield, we will be without Frenkie De Jong, after he was controversially sent off after 2 yellow cards the other night. Gavi made his first start in midweek and was a breath of fresh air. Energetic, forward thinking and dynamic. He will definitely keep his place in midfield with Sergio Busquets. Due to Frenkie’s absence and the fact that Pedri is still recovering from his injury, we’ll have one spare space in midfield. Although it would be nice to see Riqui Puig in the starting lineup, I just don’t see that happening under koeman. So the most likely option would be Sergi Roberto. It seems that he has to play in every single game no matter what, so I can see him being in the starting lineup tomorrow.
In the attack, I think it should stay relatively the same as against Cadiz. The only change I would make is to take out Luuk De Jong. He doesn’t really give us anything upfront. And all our attacks seem to break down when it gets to him, purely due to his lack of pace. He was brought in to make us more of a threat from set pieces, and we haven’t looked any more deadly since his arrival. So with that in mind, the ideal front three for tomorrow’s game would be Coutinho, Memphis and Demir. Memphis was so unlucky in midweek and he’ll be hungry to get back to scoring tomorrow. Demir, once again showed signs of the generational talent he possesses. And with more game time and development, he will grow into an absolute star for the future of Barça. He just gives us something different upfront. So we should be keeping the faith in him again tomorrow.
One piece of exciting news is that our starboy, Ansu Fati is back in the squad list for the game tomorrow. So although he obviously isn’t going to start the game, we can look forward to seeing him back on the pitch for a few minutes tomorrow!