Dec 11, 2018
Dec 11, 2018

La Liga preview: Levante vs. Barcelona

Levante vs. Barcelona odds

Inform your Levante vs. Barcelona prediction

Analysing the Levante vs. Barcelona stats

La Liga preview: Levante vs. Barcelona

In the penultimate set of La Liga fixtures before the Christmas break, our highlight game sees Levante host top of the table Barcelona. The league leaders thrashed Espanyol 4-0 away in their last league outing. So will be hoping for a similar performance this weekend. Looking for value in Levante vs. Barcelona odds? Read on to inform your Levante vs. Barcelona prediction.

A close look at the Levante vs. Barcelona odds

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The Money Line odds make Barcelona the clear favourites, with the odds implying the away side have around an 88% chance of winning this game, compared to Levante who have roughly an 11% chance of winning.

Under 3.35 and 4 goals is also slightly favoured at *1.862. This Total Goals figure slightly suggests the number of goals in the game will be higher than the league average (La Liga average is 2.57 goals per match this season). Bettors can also avail of odds of 2.020* for over 3.5 and 4.

Time: Sunday December 16 20:45 UTC kickoff

Venue: Estadi Ciutat de Valencia

Levante vs. Barcelona statistics

  • Levante expected goals for per game: 1.44
  • Levante expected goals against per game: 2.00
  • Levante expected points per game: 1.08
  • Barcelona expected goals for per game: 2.32
  • Barcelona expected goals against per game: 1.28
  • Barcelona expected points per game: 1.88
  • Last six games: Levante 1, Barcelona 5, Draw 0

Levante vs. Barcelona predicted lineups

Levante predicted lineup

3-5-2: Oier; Cabaco, Rober, Chema; Jason, Rochina, Campana, Bardhi. Tono; Roger, Morales

Playing with either a flat 4-4-2 or a 3-5-2 formation for the overwhelming majority of the season, Levante manager Paco Lopez may well keep the same system which saw his side score four but concede the same amount in their last La Liga game.

Alternatively, he could enforce a slightly more defensive 3-1-4-2. A tactic which worked wonders in Levante’s 2-1 away win at Real Madrid back in October.

In terms of absentees, right winger Samu Gracia, defensive midfield Cheick Doukoure and right-back Pedro Lopez, who are suffering from knee, calf and muscle injuries respectively, are all expected to miss out.  

While Albanian centre forward Armando Sadiku, who ruptured his cruciate ligament back in August, remains side-lined until February at least. 

Barcelona predicted lineup

4-3-3: ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba: Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Suarez, Dembele

Hosting Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League on Tuesday night, the game is a must-win for Spurs but carries little value for Barca who have already topped the group.

Speculation is rife over what sort of team Ernesto Valverd will pick, with many suggesting the likes of Lionel Messi could be dropped to the bench or rested all together.

Should Barcelona come away from Tuesday’s tie completely unscathed, then the La Liga champions should have no fresh injury concerns.

In terms of current injuries, central midfielder Rafinha is the only confirmed long term absentee. With cruciate ligament damage keeping him out until April 2019.

While defensive midfielder Sergi Samper (calf), right-back Sergi Roberto (hamstring), centre-back Samuel Umtiti (knee), central midfielder Arthur (muscle) and right-winger Malcom (ankle) are all out for shorter spells but should all still miss Sunday’s game.

Inform your Levante vs. Barcelona prediction

While the prospect of hosting Barcelona can seem a daunting task for the majority of teams, Levante actually hold the unique honour of being the only team to beat Barca in La Liga last season as the European giants finished a massive 14 points above second-placed Atletico Madrid.

Looking to finish the league season unbeaten, Barcelona travelled to Estadi Ciutat de Valencia on the penultimate weekend of the 2017/18 La Liga season with high expectations – only to be beaten 5-4 in one of the games of the season.

No team had gone an entire Spanish top flight season unbeaten since the 1930s, when there were only 18 games in a season, with Paco Lopez describing the result as “historic” for then newly promoted Levante.

While they had already secured the Spanish title weeks prior to last year’s defeat, Barcelona will see this weekend’s fixture as both a chance for revenge and also a further opportunity to increase their lead at La Liga’s summit.

At home, Levante have won three, lost three and drawn once from seven games – but perhaps crucially, have the second-worst home defensive record in the league. Having conceded 14 goals

Having secured 31 points from 15 games, Barca sit three points above second-placed Sevilla – while Levante sit sixth with 22 points following the same number of games.

Scoring in the last minute to secure a 4-4 draw in their last game away to bottom-half Eibar, Levante have overturned a dismal start to the season to lose just one of their last nine La Liga games.

At home, Granotas have won three, lost three and drawn once from seven games – but perhaps crucially, have the second-worst home defensive record in the league. Having conceded 14 goals with an expected goals against (xGA) of 13.81, their inabilities at the back are more down to limited ability, rather than luck or misfortune.

Worryingly for Levante, and an important consideration for in-play bettors, Barcelona have scored 14 of their 41 league goals in the period between the 76th minute and full time, their most successful goal-scoring spell this season – meaning Levante’s defence should be pushed all the way to the end if needed.

With the best away record in the league this season, Barcelona have won four, drawn two and lost just once on their travels this season – being beaten by Leganes 2-1 back in September.

With 17 goals in as many games this season in all competitions, Messi scored twice in Barca’s last league outing – a 4-0 away win at bitter rivals Espanyol

The division’s top scorers this season with 41 goals (second-place Celta Vigo have just 28), over half of that tally is shared between Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez – who have scored 11 and 10 goals respectively.

Only Girona’s Cristhian Stuani has a better record in La Liga this season than Messi or Suarez – with 11 goals in 13 games – having spent 20 fewer minutes on the pitch than Messi.

With 17 goals in as many games this season in all competitions, Messi scored twice in Barca’s last league outing – a 4-0 away win at bitter rivals Espanyol.

To have any hope of securing a result, Levante’s shaky defence to will have to cope with two of Europe’s best strikers at the same time – a task easier said than done.

Levante vs. Barcelona: Where is the value?

Despite last season’s heroics, Levante recent record against Barcelona isn’t good. Losing five out of the last six league meetings with the Spanish champions.

Given this historical data, and Barcelona’s recent form, bettors may not find value in the 1x2 odds which make Barcelona the heavy favourites at 1.283*.

As a result, bettors would be wise to consider Barcelona at – 1.5 and -2 at 1.847 or Levante +1.5 and +2 at 2.080*.

In recent seasons, this fixture has been very high scoring with the last six La Liga meetings featuring 29 goals.

Combine this data, with the current good form of Suarez and Messi, and Over 3.5 and 4 at 2.020 has the potential to be good value too.

To make the most of our best value odds make sure to read more of Pinnacle’s expert betting advice.

Odds subject to change

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