Barcelona manager Luis Enrique says he is not expecting an easy ride away from home on Sunday against a Levante side that the Catalans boss believes have done well in the winter transfer window.
Fresh off the back of their resounding 7-0 win over Gary Neville’s Valencia in the Copa del Rey, Barcelona will be looking to continue in their rich vein of form when they take on La Liga strugglers Levante on Sunday
Levante have brought in several new players in the winter transfer window and the Barcelona head coach believes their Sunday’s opponent have signed well and are in need of points.
“It’s a good challenge to remain at the top of the table. Levante have signed well and it will be a challenge for us to win and stay leaders.
“The teams from the bottom half of the table raise their game as you move into the final third of the season. Levante will come out to put us under pressure.” Enrique stated.
On reaching 100 games as blaugrana coach on Sunday, he added: “I am proud of the good and the bad. It forms part of this stage as the coach with the team and all the staff together, we have enjoyed it a lot and suffered.
“The good statistics are down to having the best players, that’s why we enjoy it, everybody, us and the fans.” Enrique added.
The Catalans’ boss has no particular injury concerns ahead of the top versus bottom clash other than long-term absentee Rafinha. Levante boss Rubí will be unable to call upon Casadesús, José Mari, Pedro López, Juanfran and Rubén due to injury, but welcomes back Deyverson who missed the league defeat to Sevilla due to suspension, as well as Orban.
Barcelona have a great record at Levante, having lost just once in the fixture’s history with an unbeaten run of over 50 years. You have to go back to the 1964/65 season for Levante’s last and only ever home win over the Catalans. The Valencians’ ground is a particularly special place for Barça as they have sealed the league title on two occasions there this century, in 2004/05 and 2010/11.