- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

MADRID (AP) - With a draw against last-place Levante on Sunday, Barcelona can equal the club’s all-time record of 28 consecutive matches without a loss.

Barcelona hasn’t lost a game since a 2-1 result at Sevilla in the Spanish league in October. It has won 22 games and drawn five since then.

“We have a very important objective, to continue winning titles and providing enjoyment to the fans,” Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said after the team’s 7-0 rout of Valencia in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday. “We have some one-of-a-kind players, that’s evident. And there are still a lot of things left to conquer.”

The record was set when Pep Guardiola coached the team in the 2010-11 season.

Barcelona has won nine games in a row and has outscored opponents 30-3 in its last seven games at the Camp Nou. It routed Levante 4-1 in a league game at the stadium this season.

A draw on Sunday would also be enough to keep the Catalan club at the top of the standings regardless of the results of its rivals. With a game in hand, Barcelona has a three-point lead over Atletico Madrid and a four-point advantage over third-place Real Madrid.

Here are some things to watch in the Spanish league this weekend:



Lionel Messi and Neymar have been on top of their games recently, but it’s Luis Suarez who has impressed the most in the last few matches.

The Uruguay striker is enjoying his best season with Barcelona, scoring 35 goals in 33 games. In the last five matches, he found the net nine times.

The hat trick against Valencia in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday was his fourth of the season. Suarez is one of the leading scorers in the Spanish league with 19 goals, along with Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I just want to help,” Suarez said. “The entire team deserves credit.”



Levante has been struggling in the Spanish league but it arrives at the game against Barcelona boosted by five new additions to the squad.

It was one of the Spanish teams which added the most players in the transfer window, including Colombian striker Mauro Cuero, Argentine defender Lucas Orban and French-born defender Carl Medjani.

“If the coach wants me playing this weekend, I’m ready,” said Joan Verdu, another defender added to the squad.

Levante enters Sunday’s game after winning two of its last four matches.



Atletico Madrid has been facing difficulties on and off the field recently.

After thriving early in the Spanish league and in the Copa del Rey, the team seems to have hit a standstill.

It hasn’t won in four matches, and its most recent losses were in a decisive league game against Barcelona and in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey against Celta Vigo, a home defeat that eliminated the team.

To make it worse, Atletico coach Diego Simeone will be without three key defensive players for the home match against Eibar on Saturday. Diego Godin and Filipe Luis will be sidelined because of red cards against Barcelona, while Juanfran will be out because of an accumulation of yellow cards.

“The strength of this team is in the group,” Uruguayan defender Jose Gimenez said. “We will be missing important players but those who get to play will certainly be ready.”



Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will be looking for his first away victory since taking over the squad last month.

Madrid plays at second-to-last Granada on Sunday looking to stay close to Barcelona at the top of the standings.

Madrid was dominant in its first three home matches with Zidane in command, routing Deportivo La Coruna 5-0, Sporting Gijon 5-1 and Espanyol 6-0. In its only away game, though, it was held by Real Betis to a 1-1 draw in Seville.

Granada has lost three of its last four matches.


Tales Azzoni on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tazzoni

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