PREVIOUS 2012/13 ENCOUNTER
The Blaugrana visited the Ciutat de Valencia at the end of November for what proved to be a historic night of football. Barça defeated the always difficult side managed by Juan Ignacio Martínez by 0-4 thanks to two strikes from Leo Messi and goals from Andrés Iniesta and Cesc Fàbregas. The scoreline, while impressive, wasn’t what was plastered on the covers of international media outlets the following morning. News sources focused on the fact that Barça had finished the match 11 home-grown players for the first time in recent memory. In addition to this remarkable feat, Tito Vilanova’s men equalled the best ever start to a La Liga campaign. The previous record was set by Radomir Antic’s Real Madrid side in the 1991/92 season.
Levante are in the relatively placid zone of the table – 12th – on 40 points from 31 matches. Of their last five matches in La Liga, they’ve won two, tied one and lost two. The defeats came at the hands of Real Madrid (5-1) and Deportivo (0-4), the draws were secured against Granada (1-1) and Getafe (0-0), while they claimed victory over Sevilla by 1-0.
ONES TO WATCH
Martínez will be able to call on his top scorers Rubén García and Barkero, both of whom have four goals apiece, and his powerful full backs, Segio Ballesteros and David Navarro. Unfortunately, the team’s most potent player in front of goal, Obafemi Martins, departed the Valencia-based side earlier this year for the Seattle Sounders.