A late Philippe Coutinho penalty saw Barcelona register in the first leg last week, but Levante will take an advantage into the second leg at Camp Nou on Thursday courtesy of an impressive win.
Barcelona made it six straight La Liga wins on Sunday night with a 3-0 home success over Eibar. The Catalan giants once again have a five-point advantage over second-placed Atletico Madrid at the summit and will now switch their attention back to the Copa del Rey as they bid to make the quarter-finals once again.
There is no question that the Catalan giants have work to do following their 2-1 defeat to Levante in the first leg. That said, Coutinho's spot kick five minutes from time has made it more of an open contest, and Ernesto Valverde's side will fancy their chances of turning the tie around in front of their own supporters.
Barcelona landed their 30th Copa del Rey crown last season and have been utterly dominant in this competition in recent years. Indeed, they have lifted the trophy in each of the last four campaigns and have been present in all but one of the last eight finals, which is some record.
Valverde's side had no problems overcoming Cultural Leonesa in the last round, ultimately running out 5-1 aggregate winners to advance to the last-16 stage of the competition once again. Levante have provided some competition in this round, but Barca are still seen as the favourites to progress.
Barcelona are going to take some stopping in La Liga this season, but there is no question that the Catalan giants would trade another Copa del Rey title in for the Champions League. The Spaniards will face Lyon over two legs in the round of 16 next month and will be desperate to land their first European title since 2015.
Ideally, Valverde would have liked to have rested players on Thursday night ahead of their La Liga clash with Leganes this weekend. There will certainly be alterations for the second leg, but Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are both expected to be in the starting XI once again.
Messi made it 400 La Liga goals with a strike against Eibar at the weekend, while Luis Suarez struck twice to take his tally to 14 for the season.
Recent form: WWWWWL
Recent form (all competitions): DWWWLW
It is advantage Levante in this last-16 tie, with the Valencia-based outfit putting in a fine performance on home soil last week. At 2-0, Levante would have really fancied their chances, but Coutinho's late penalty was a real hammer blow.
Levante will also enter Thursday's match off the back of a tough fixture away at Atletico Madrid on Sunday, meanwhile. Paco Lopez's side gave a good account of themselves, but ultimately suffered a 1-0 defeat to La Liga's second-placed team.
The result left Levante in 12th position in La Liga, but they are only three points off the top seven and showed their credentials against Barcelona last week.
Promoted from the Segunda Division as winners in 2017, Levante earned another season of La Liga football by finishing 15th in the top flight last term. The Frogs have now been present in eight of the last nine La Liga campaigns and will be looking to secure another season of top-flight action.
It will not come as a surprise to learn that Levante have never won the Copa del Rey, while they have not been past the quarter-finals since 1935. Lopez's team beat Lugo in the round of 32 to progress to this stage and would have wanted to have avoided the holders at this relatively early point.
It is a huge ask to expect Levante to win at Camp Nou on Thursday, but their positive result in the first leg has given the team something to protect. The first goal will be key in this match and Barcelona have certainly given teams chances this season, with Real Betis, Athletic Bilbao and Girona all picking up positive results at Camp Nou during the 2018-19 campaign.
Recent form: DWLDWW
Recent form (all competitions): DLLDWL
Jeison Murillo was arguably Barcelona's best defender on his debut in the first leg, though, and the recent arrival from Valencia should make the XI again.
As mentioned, Messi and Luis Suarez are both expected to be selected, with Coutinho providing the attacking option from the bench.
As for Levante, on-loan Real Madrid forward Borja Mayoral was excellent in the first leg last week and the Spaniard should continue in attack.
Head coach Lopez also has a decision to make over the involvement of star player Jose Luis Morales, who started on the bench in the first leg.
Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Cillessen; Semedo, Murillo, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Busquets, Alena; Dembele, L Suarez, Messi
Levante possible starting lineup:
Aitor; Postigo, Chema, Cabaco; Coke, Prcic, Campana, Simon; Rochina; Mayoral, Boateng
Head To Head
These two teams will be locking horns in the Copa del Rey for the first time in four years, but the last time did not end well for Levante, who were thumped 9-2 on aggregate by Barcelona.
Levante's last trip to Barcelona came in January 2018, with the home side running out 3-0 winners in the La Liga affair.
We say: Barcelona 3-1 Levante
We fancy Levante to register a goal at Camp Nou, but Barcelona will have too much down the other end. The holders to progress to the quarter-finals.