Monday, June 24, 2019

Prediction: Levante vs FC Barcelona

Verdict: Away side to score over 2.5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

FC Barcelona have settled themselves after an inconsistent start to the season, and now they sit at the top of the standings with a somewhat comfortable three-point lead over Sevilla and Atletico Madrid. Los Blaugranas will have a tough match, however, as they will visit a Levante side that seems to be on the rise at the moment.

Levante

The hosts seem to be playing at their best in front of their crowd. Despite their largely unimpressive W3, D1, L3 record at home, all those three wins have come over their past four outings (W3, L1). That might not be enough to give them confidence, but at the very least it will give them the chance to be somewhat competitive. In fact, Levante have lost only one of their previous five league outings (W1, D3, L1). They should also be motivated entering this match. A win for the home side could put Levante in Europa League qualification zone; although for that to happen they would also need some other results to go their way. But Los Granotas are undoubtedly playing their best football at the moment. They are coming off a thrilling 4-4 away draw against Eibar and a solid 3-0 home win over Athletic Bilbao. Would that be enough to pull the upset against Barcelona?

Team News

Armando Sadiku and Samuel have both been ruled out for this match due to knee injuries.

Cheick Doukoure (calf), Pedro Lopez (muscle) and Sergio Postigo (hip) are all doubtful, but neither player seems likely to play in this one.

FC Barcelona

On the other hand, Ernesto Valverde’s men are riding a two-game winning streak and have lost just one of their previous five league matches (W3, D1, L1). Following two consecutive dominant wins over Villarreal (2-0) and Espanyol (4-0) it seems Barcelona are finally leaving their inconsistent start to the campaign on the rear view, and they are finally looking like the dominant team that won the Liga title last term. A midweek draw against Tottenham – where they conceded the equaliser in the 85th minute – might be cause for concern for Barca, but they shouldn’t read too much into that game since Valverde fielded several alternative players. When at full strength, they can be unstoppable and the numbers back them up – Barcelona currently own the best attack in La Liga with 41 goals in only 15 matches, giving them almost 3.0 per game. Can they respect that average when they go against a Levante side that seems to be playing better and better after each week?

Team News

Ernesto Valverde won’t have three players available for this match, with Rafinha (knee), Malcom (ankle) and Samuel Umtiti (knee) all sidelined.

Sergi Roberto (muscle) and Sergi Samper (calf) are both questionable entering this one, and both will be game-time decisions for the coaching staff.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Levante are riding a four-game undefeated run across all competitions (W2, D2). They have scored at least two goals in each of those games.
  • FC Barcelona have scored at least two goals in four of their last five league matches. During those games, they have returned a record of W3, L1.
  • Los Blaugranas own the best attack in La Liga with 41 goals scored in 15 matches. This gives them an average of 2.73 goals scored per contest.
  • Barcelona have been the best away side in La Liga this season. Through seven games, they own a W4, D2, L1 mark.
  • Levante won the previous meeting between these two sides (5-4) last season. However, Barcelona dominate the recent H2H record with a W8, D1, L1 record in the previous 10 meetings.

Conclusion

Levante are a team that’s clearly on the rise, but that might not be enough here. Barcelona should win this game rather comfortably, and I see them scoring at least three goals here.

Verdict: Away side to score over 2.5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

avatar
 
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
  Subscribe  
Notify of
More More
Top