Tito Vilanova / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Tito Vilanova has once again emphasised that there are no easy games in the league, especially when it comes to Sunday’s opponents. “Levante always play with a striker upfront. They’ve draw one and lost two of their home games, against Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, but they’ve won the rest.

Asked whether the experience of the Levante players might impose itself on a much younger Barça team, Vilanova has no doubts: “You show your age on the pitch, not on your identity card. The important thing is to be good, regardless of whether you’re younger or older. Our games against Levante have always been complicated but we’ve always had a good reception from the crowd”.

Apart from Sunday’s duel, Vilanova pointed out that Barça have a tough ride ahead with visits to Betis and Valladolid and home games against Atletico Madrid and Athletic Club before the year ends.

Injury news

The players have had a couple of days to recover from the trip to Moscow and Vilanova told reporters, “The players have come back happy and rested. Over the year we try and give them a rest, and especially in this case when we’ve had five days between one match and another”. He welcomed back Thiago and Adriano from injury. “It’s a joy to see them back. They’re important players. However, Villa has been ruled out of Sunday’s match because of a left ankle problem. “He didn’t take part in the second half in Moscow. In principle it’s nothing much and we prefer him to rest”.

One year on from the operation

The last year has been a roller coaster ride for Tito Vilanova, starting with his operation a year ago. The manager has taken a lot from the experience: “It was a year last Thursday. The lesson is that it can happen to anyone. Your life can change from one day to the next. The only thing I can say now is that you have to be strong and the people around you have to support you. If it happened to someone I would tell them to rest more than I did. I celebrated the anniversary with my family. It was a special day”.

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