Aug 17, 2013

FC Barcelona vs Levante Preview - The 2013 - 14 Season Officially Starts

FC Barcelona will begin its defense of La Liga crown tomorrow night at the Camp Nou against Levante, the club based in Valencia. Once again the club will be off to a hectic start, having to play five matches in the opening fifteen days. That also involves the two legged affair Super Copa affair against Atletico Madrid. The season has not yet officially began but we already is seeing some injury issues. Cesc Fabregas is more or less ruled out of the opening match because of the injury he picked up in the last match on the Asian tour. But there is a feeling he will be available for the mid week copa affair. Lionel Messi is also carrying a thigh injury, but has already started training with the group. That means he could be more or less available for Sunday's match. In a season the other teams in Spain have weakened so much due to the exodus that we saw in the summer window, there won't be any other contender other than FC Barcelona and Real Madrid for the Liga crown. Incidentally both are being managed by new managers, we have to go back to the start of the Rijkaard era when both these teams had new managers.

Levante had a torrid record at Camp Nou. They have never secured a point at Camp Nou. It's quite strange considering that they are one team who regularly made us really work hard to secure the win. Levante is one team who almost struggle with their finances. Which means they regularly have to sell their best players and wait for the left over players to sign. They have lost their manager, Juan Ignacio Martinez along with many players. Which means their chances of an upset at Barca will remain a far fetched dream as of now. Meanwhile Barca could feature some of the greatest talents available on the planet on the field. Lionel Messi, Neymar and Pedro is expected to start as the attacking trio. Iniesta, Xavi and Busquets should play as the usual midfield. The defense could see some experiments this season, but none can be expected for this match. We should see the usual Alves, Pique, Mascherano and Alba line-up in front of Valdes. Levante have too many new players in their line-up and it would take some time for them to adjust and play to their style. That means this match should be a mismatch at the Camp Nou. I would go for a comfortable 4-1 win for us. Above all we may get enthralled with the link up between Neymar and Messi.

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