Barcelona can cement their position at the top of La Liga with a win away to Levante on Saturday.
The Blaugrana are in strong form following Tuesday's 5-1 win over Real Valladolid. Lionel Messi is fully fit and combining brilliantly with fellow forwards Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez.
Levante are also in excellent form, having recorded an impressive 2-1 win away to Real Sociedad on Wednesday. The Valencia-based club is 11th in the table and has the players to cause Barca a few problems at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia.
Date: Saturday, November 2
Time: 3 p.m. GMT/11 a.m. ET
TV Info: beIN Sports
Live Stream: beIN Sports CONNECT
- Levante: 17-2
- Barcelona: 6-17
- Draw: 101-20
Odds per Oddschecker.
Messi was at his majestic best against Valladolid as the creative heartbeat of a team finally clicking in every phase of the final third:
Having Messi operating at peak efficiency is the difference between Barca being the team to beat and struggling in a tight title race. Putting Griezmann in the same forward line has provided another target for the Barcelona captain.
Griezmann started life with Barca slowly, but he has been finding his feet recently, netting four goals and providing three assists in league action.
There have been questions about how well Messi and Griezmann coexist, but Gerard Pique played down those concerns when speaking to Cadena Ser (h/t MailOnline's James Dutton):
"Leo and Antoine get on just like Leo does with Dembele or Pedro or Villa. They get on well. With Luis, they're practically like brothers and then after that there are different relationships. Just because he doesn't get on with Griezmann like he does with Luis doesn't mean they don't get on well."
Levante will want to apply pressure, a plan resting on getting the ball to Borja Mayoral early and often. The Real Madrid loanee scored what proved to be the winner at Anoeta on Wednesday:
Versatile raiding right-back Coke will be key to keeping open the lines of supply to Mayoral. If the combination clicks, Levante can exploit a Barca defence vulnerable enough to have surrendered 11 league goals already this term.
Even if the visitors' defensive issues are taken advantage of early, Messi and Co. will produce enough moments of quality to secure another win.