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Barcelona vs Levante: Messi starts in Copa decider

first_imgBarcelona return to Camp Nou for the second leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 tie with Levante, facing a 2-1 deficit.Goals from Erick Cabaco and Borja Mayoral gave the Valencia side a flying start in this two-legged affair, though a late penalty from Philippe Coutinho allowed Barca to keep in touch.However, the Catalans will have to produce a much-improved display at home if they are to move into the quarter-finals of a competition they have won a record 30 times in the past. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Game Barcelona vs Levante Date Thursday, January 17 Time 8:30pm GMT / 3:30pm ET TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched on beIN Sports or streamed via beIN Sports CONNECT. US TV channel Online stream beIN Sports beIN Sports CONNECT In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast. UK TV channel Online stream N/A N/A Squads & Team News Position Barcelona squad Goalkeepers Ter Stegen, Cillessen Defenders Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Miranda, Gonzalez, Chumi, Murillo Midfielders Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal, Denis Suarez, Arthur, Alena Forwards Messi, Suarez, Coutinho, Dembele, Munir, Malcom Barcelona starting XI: Cillessen; Semedo, Murillo, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Arthur, Vidal, Coutinho; Messi, Dembele. Position Levante squad Goalkeepers Oier, Koke, Fernandez Defenders Cabaco, Rober, Benito, Chema, Coke, Postigo Midfielders Jason, Rochina, Campana, Bardhi, Tono, Prcic, Vukcevic, Samu Garcia Forwards Roger, Morales, Mayoral, Simon, Dwamena, Boateng Levante are set to take a strong squad to Barcelona for this fixture, although they are without defenders Antonio Luno and Chema Rodriguez due to injuries.Paco Lopez has rotated his panel in the competition this season and remain likely to do so once more.Possible Levante starting XI: Aitor; Cabaco, Postigo, Rober; Coke, Prcic, Campana, Bardhi, Tono; Morales, RogerBetting & Match Odds Barcelona are hot favourites to win, with odds of 1/8 at bet365 . Levante are priced at 18/1, while a draw can be backed at 7/1.Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more .Match Preview Levante celebrate 2018-19Barcelona turned in a sub-par performance last week as they slipped to a 2-1 first-leg loss against Levante in Valencia but will be hopeful of turning that deficit around.Ernesto Valverde rotated his side heavily for that first encounter and after some failed experiments in that match – most notably in defence – he will be confident that he and his players have learned from the experience.Certainly, there was no hangover in La Liga, where Barca swept past Eibar 3-0 at the weekend . Luis Suarez might have scored twice in that encounter, but it was Lionel Messi who caught the headlines as he chalked up his 400th strike in the league.“Messi’s numbers are stratospheric,” Valverde enthused after the match . “They are incredible.“Not only the goals, but also what he creates. He’s from another galaxy.”Messi, though, is liable to be left out of Thursday’s encounter, showing just where the Copa del Rey currently ranks in the hierarchy of the Camp Nou side’s objectives this season.Valverde’s side have opened up a healthy five-point advantage in La Liga over second-placed Atletico Madrid, scoring an astonishing 53 goals in the process – 22 more than any other club has managed.Nevertheless, the focus lies on Sunday’s fixture with Leganes and then, more distant, their Champions League campaign.Levante, meanwhile, are 12th, but have proven an exciting attacking team this season. Indeed, with 30 goals only Barca, Sevilla and Celta have more in La Liga.They showed their potential as they scored twice in the first 20 minutes of this tie and if Barca are not on their mettle then there is every chance the side from Valencia could find themselves in the quarter-finals.last_img

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