Barcelona, who are on course for a treble this season, have looked in scintillating form, destroying teams in all competitions. They will be eager to come up with another solid performance as they travel to Ciutat de València to face Levante on Sunday.
It goes without saying Barcelona are expected to defeat Levante, who are struggling in the relegation zone, with ease as the visitors have come up with huge victories of late — against Valencia (6-0) in Copa del Rey and Atletico Madrid (2-1) in the La Liga.
Barcelona stand atop the La Liga with 51 points from 21 games, and still have two games in hand. Atletico Madrid are their closest challengers with the same points, but have played 23 games already. A victory on Sunday against Levante will further strengthen their position in the La Liga.
However, Barca's coach Luis Enrique is not going to take his opponents lightly despite Levante's position in the La Liga.
"The teams from the bottom half of the table raise their game as you move into the final third of the season," Enrique was quoted as saying by Goal.
Levante, who are going to be egged on by the home crowd and are keen to move up the standings, will have a Herculean task on their hands when they come up against players of utmost quality like Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez — an incredible front three in world football.
Despite winning games comfortably, Enrique believes there is plenty of scope for improvement as he believes his players can play even better. Though they are at the top of the table, they need to maintain their consistency and come up with great results to retain that position, which is surely going to be challenged by Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. If Barca drop points, they will be ready to pounce on that opportunity.
"No, we are not in our best form. We had a really good period at the end of last season. We are doing well this season, but not as well as last year. This is the stage of the season when results are crucial. This will be a challenge in terms of us remaining in the driving seat at the top of the league," Enrique said.
This fixture is a mismatch on paper, and when the players take the field, Levante may be seen doing a lot of running while Barca, who are masters at tiki-taka football, will play their entertaining brand of the game.
Though Levante may be one of the weakest teams in the La Liga, they have been performing decent of late. They have won two out of their last four matches. However, even the home fans are aware of the tough fixture against Barcelona, and a draw against the champions will be considered a success.
Where to watch live
Levante vs Barcelona is scheduled for a 12 p.m. CET (4:30 p.m. IST, 11 a.m. GMT, 6 a.m. ET) start, with live TV coverage in India on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD. Viewers in India can also watch the match via live streaming online on Sony Liv.
Football fans in Spain can catch the match live on Canal+ Liga and Movistar Futbol.
Viewers in the UK can watch Levante vs Barcelona live on Sky Sports 5/HD with live streaming on Sky Go.
Bein Sports and Bein Sports Connect will broadcast Levante vs Barcelona in the US.