Three things that will decide Barcelona v Levante

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Barcelona take on Levante at the Camp Nou looking to win their second home game of the La Liga campaign.

It's a fixture normally laden with goals and there will surely be an expectation amongst the Blaugrana faithful that the status quo will remain.

Back in February Barca cruised to a 5-0 win with Lionel Messi's hat-trick for once not grabbing the headlines.

On the day, Luis Suarez's acrobatic scissor kick garnered most of the plaudits.

Let's take a look at three things that could shape the outcome this time...

Weight of history

As West Ham showed recently at Anfield, beating Liverpool on their own patch after 52 years, anything is possible with the correct mindset.

The weight of history falls heavily on the shoulders of Levante however.

No wins in 13 over the last decade, 27 goals conceded in the last six meetings and only two scored.

Barca may not have started off in their usual fashion in goalscoring terms, but arguably they've played three of their hardest La Liga fixtures already.

Only the bravest Levante fan would bet on their team plundering all three points in this one.

Too defensive

If Lucas Alcaraz wants to win games, then he needs to set his teams out in a manner that is conducive to attacking football.

Starting each game with a 5-3-2 formation is an indicator that the manager is doing anything but attack.

Playing not to get beaten rather than playing to win. Some people term it "parking the bus."

Barca have struggled against the same in the past and they may do so for long periods here, but eventually their superior movement and passing range will get the better of their visitors.

Wing-backs crucial

This is one game where Barcelona's wing-backs will fully earn their salary.

With the middle of the pitch too congested to play with any sort of panache and verve, the likelihood is that Luis Enrique will instruct his wide men to get forward in support of the attack at every possible opportunity.

In so doing, Levante's prior two-man advantage at the back is neutralised.

Jordi Alba and Dani Alves if he is fit enough, Sergi Roberto if he isn't, will need to stretch play as much as possible to create the gaps for Messi, Neymar and Suarez to go about their work.

 If Barca strike early, expect another hatful.

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Luis Suarez
Lionel Messi
La Liga

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