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Levante hopes to contain Barcelona threat

It would take a monumental effort to slow Barcelona down at the moment.

The Catalans have dropped points just once all season and remain unbeaten through 12 league games, but Levante will be hopeful of ending that formidable run on Sunday when the two sides meet at the Ciutat de Valencia.

Even with Levante trailing Barcelona in the table by 14 points, the Frogs remain come into the weekend occupying fourth place.

Levante is certainly capable of pulling off a shocking upset. The club hosted Real Madrid two weeks ago and pushed the reigning champions all the way to the closing minutes. In the end, Jose Mourinho's side needed an 84th-minute strike from Alvaro Morata to claim all three points.

For a grassroots club like Levante, pushing a global giant like Real Madrid to the death is a moral victory in itself. But now that Juan Ignacio Martinez's men have come so close to clinching a shocking victory, they will be out to complete the task against a Barcelona side that has won five straight in La Liga play.

Atletico Madrid will be looking to capitalize on any kind of slip-up from Barcelona. Diego Simeone's side sits second in the league on 31 points and can place additional pressure on the Catalans by taking three points from its match with Sevilla at the Vicente Calderon earlier on Sunday.

Leading up to both clashes, Athletic Bilbao will go for its third win in its last four league outings when it welcomes Deportivo to San Mames, and Espanyol hopes to climb out of the cellar by avoiding a third straight defeat when it hosts Getafe at the Estadi Cornella-El Prat.

On Saturday, Real Madrid ventures to the Benito Villamarin in search of its sixth successive league victory as the reigning champions get set to take on Real Betis, Malaga hopes to snap a four-game winless run when it welcomes Valencia to the Estadio La Rosaleda, Granada tries to pull away from the relegation zone with a positive result at Valladolid, and Mallorca hopes to pick up its first win in its last seven La Liga outings when it heads to the Teresa Rivero to face Rayo Vallecano.

On Monday, Real Zaragoza will host Celta Vigo at the Estadio La Romareda, while on Friday, Real Sociedad was held to a 0-0 draw by Osasuna.

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