The Estadio Ciudad de Valencia crowd will be hoping for a change in fortune in the cup after a run of one win in their last five league games. Success in the Copa del Rey also opens the gates to the UEFA Europa League for the winners.
However, the home side have never won the tournament, while Barca have lifted the trophy 30 times.
Time: 8:30 p.m. (GMT)/3:30 p.m. (ET)
Date: Thursday, Jan. 10
Live Stream: BeIN Sports Connect, fuboTV (USA)
Odds: Levante win: 13-2, Draw: 5-1, Barca win: 1-3
Odds courtesy of Oddschecker.
Barcelona’s dominance in the Copa del Rey is unrivalled, and they have won the last four tournaments at a canter, including the 5-0 demolition of Sevilla in the final last year.
Levante’s best cup run was a semi-final appearance in 1935, and they have spent most of their history plying their trade outside of the top flight.
A win in this competition would be the greatest triumph in their 109-year history. Levante will be keen to match the previous success of local rivals Valencia but are consistently left in the shadow of Los Che.
Barca are five points clear at the top of La Liga and will surely rotate their squad for the 185-mile journey down the east coast.
Levante are in 10th place, but a cup run might be viewed as an unnecessary distraction as they bid to maintain their La Liga status.
The two sides crossed swords in the league in December, with a Lionel Messi hat-trick helping Barca to a 5-0 win on the road.
Levante failed to deal with the potency of the Catalan attack and a repeat will see Barca cruise through without concern over the second leg.
Messi could be given the night off by manager Ernesto Valverde, offering Levante a better chance of resisting a huge deficit before they travel to the Camp Nou.
A number of youngsters could be given rare outings by Valverde, with a changed Barca side winning in the previous round against Leonesa in December.
Barca ran out 4-1 winners in the second leg, with the squad’s reserve talents taking centre stage.