Okay so we know that Pele’s comparison comments between Messi and Neymar were a little bit extreme however, Argentine legend Diego Maradona’s retaliatory comments are nothing to write home about either.
“My God, that is just stupid,” Maradona said.
“Maybe Neymar is the best player in the world, but only if you say that Messi is from a different planet.”
Of course considering the rivalry between these two players, it comes as no surprise what he said. Meanwhile, Barcelona prepare to face Levante away tomorrow night in their last league fixture before taking on Chelsea in the Champions League and Madrid in the Clasico next weekend.
On paper it should be a rather easy fixture for the Blaugrana, however, Levante who have been the surprise package of the season and who currently sit in 5th place in the league cannot be underestimated.
Barcelona have won 10 of their last La Liga matches and they will be looking to avoid a negative result that can damage their chances of winning their 4th straight league title.
Hosts Levante on the other hand have nothing to lose as they current campaign has been the best if not their best ever. Despite losing to Sporting Gijon in their midweek fixture, Levante can go into this match with their head held high knowing that they have met their season’s targets.
Levante may not have the best squad in the league however, their strong defense and ability to launch surprise counter attacks has worked and they will be hoping to use it against Barca. Levante will be at full strength for tomorrow’s match. Levante’s probable line up, (4-2-3-1): Múnua; Lopez, Ballesteros, Cabral, Juanfrán; Xavi Torres, Iborra; Valdo, Ghezzal, Barkero; Koné
For Barcelona, some key changes are expected. In the first leg of this fixture, Barcelona were 5-0 winners over but a scoreline like that tomorrow looks highly unlikely. With a crucial Champions League semi final against Chelsea next week, Guardiola is likely to rest Busquets, Xavi and iniesta and opt for Keita, Fabregas and Thiago. Upfront, Messi will be among the three forwards. Probable Barcelona line up, (4-3-3): Valdés; Adriano, Mascherano, Muniesa, Daniel Alves; Keita, Fabregas, Thiago; Cuenca, Tello, Messi.
Now for a little bit of history,
- Two of Barcelona’s last 4 league titles were won or celebrated at Levante’s home stadium Cuitat De Valencia.
- Levante have not lost to either Madrid or Barcelona at home since they were promoted.
- Barcelona are on a 10 match losing streak.
photo credit © Bond154